Our most heartfelt holiday
This year is obviously not like any other. We want to share the warmth and kindness that is Christmas in Gothenburg, in a safe and responsible way. The Christmas City that we offer this year will be different. But it will be a hearfelt one. The events and activities that occur have taken precautions to meet the reccomendations from the authorities.
Music in the Christmas City
Listen to your favourite Christmas songs, performed by Göteborgs Ungdomskör (Gothenburg Youth Choir), led by Amy Elizabeth Wheeler. They will travel slowly along the moat on one of the famous Paddan sightseeing boats, surrounded by beautiful light art installations. Read more here.
Julsångskvartetten (the Christmas song quartet) will travel that same route, but they will do it in a horse drawn carriage. Along the way they will perform Swedish and English Christmas songs a capella in beautiful vocal harmony arrangements.
An unusually bright winter
This winter, you can enjoy magical street lights even longer than usual in Gothenburg – they are lit between November 6 and February 2021. The popular heart in Brunnsparken is back and from mid-November the giant Christmas tree at Liseberg Amusement Park joins in.
Many of the decorations will be familiar but there are also some new additions. On the square Järntorget, for instance, the cherry trees will get new lighting. And around November 29, the various activities within the Christmas City Gothenburg start, albeit with some adjustments for this different year.
– We're working hard to ensure that we can offer a nice and safe Christmas City this year, following the restrictions and recommendations from Swedish authorities. That means among other things a focus on outdoor activities, says Jennie Heidenfors from Göteborg & Co.
Visit a Castle
Around Gothenburg, there are several castles and houses perfect for a Christmas outing. Just a short drive or bus ride from the city centre is Gunnebo House and Gardens with it's impressive organic café and restaurant. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings and 18th century buildings and visit the Christmas garden and Christmas shop. Tjolöholm Castle was built in 1898–1904 and the architecture is a mix of 14th century English style, Art Noveau and innovative design features. This is also a lovely place to visit in the Christmas time. Nääs slott is another beautiful estate, not far from Gothenburg. The castle is set in a beutiful landscape just by a wonderful lake and there's a lot to explore – both inside the castle and beyond. If you can't get enough of the atmosphere, there are rooms for rent.
Luciatåg – Saint Lucy Celebrations
On the 13th of December, Swedish men and women dress up in white and head out early in the morning to celebrate Saint Lucia of Syracuse (also known as Saint Lucy). During the celebration, there is always one girl dressed in a white dress with a wreath of candles on her head. This is Lucia herself. The celebrations take place in churches, homes and workplaces and are extremely popular thanks to the beautiful songs and atmosphere.
But why do Swedes celebrate a Catholic saint with such enthusiasm (apparently regardless of Christian faith)? One explanation might be that the celebrations are in fact inspired by old (and often wild) festivities that used to be held to celebrate the winter solstice. These festivities could be quite burlesque – containing schnapps, crossdressing and animals that could speak. More about this here.