Solomon talks about Swedish traditions

On this page you can read about:

  • Celebrating Saint Lucy’s Day.
  • Christmas in Sweden.
  • Common foods in Sweden.

Solomon and the other children in the letter are fictional.


My name is Solomon and I’m 9 years old. Here in Sweden, there are many traditions that are different from the ones I used to celebrate with my family in Eritrea. Many Swedish traditions seemed strange to me at first, but it was also fun to learn about them.

For example, yesterday we celebrated Saint Lucy’s Day at school. It was really fun! My class had a Saint Lucy’s Day performance. We all dressed up and sang songs. I was dressed up as an elf.

Afterwards, we all got to drink hot chocolate and eat a “lussekatt”. That’s a yellow bun that looks like an S, and it tasted really delicious!

Even though I use a wheelchair, I was able to be a part of the Saint Lucy’s Day celebration. That made me happy. In Sweden, you can go almost everywhere in a wheelchair. That makes everything a bit easier for me, and I can participate in most activities.

Five children sit at a table in Saint Lucy and Santa Claus costumes, eating lussekatter, gingerbread cookies, and oranges.

Photo: Emelie Asplund/

After Saint Lucy’s Day, it’s not long until Christmas. In Sweden, most people celebrate Christmas, even if they don’t believe in God.

At Christmas, you usually spend time with your family, eat special Christmas foods, and give each other Christmas presents. And we get time off from school, about two weeks.

We also usually bake gingerbread cookies and drink “julmust”, which is a kind of soft drink.

Three children bake gingerbread cookies together.

Photo: Lena Granefel/

Plate with mashed potatoes, meatballs, lingonberries and pickled cucumber salad.

Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs/

It took some time for me to get used to Swedish food, but now I like it. People here eat a lot of potatoes with meat or fish. We still eat Eritrean food at home, but we’ve also started eating Swedish food. I think it’s nice to have both!

Did you know that Sweden has a king and a queen? But they don’t get to decide things, like in some other countries. The king and queen live in the capital, Stockholm.

Drottningholm Castle, the royal family’s private residence. The picture shows a castle surrounded by forest, with a large lake in the foreground.

Drottningholm Castle, the royal family’s private residence. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/

On weekends, I meet up with my friends. This weekend I’m going to hang out with my friend Rolly. We’re going to go to the cinema.


Questions to think about and discuss:

  • What did you think of Solomon’s letter?
  • Had you heard of Saint Lucy’s Day before?
  • Do you and your family usually celebrate any holidays?
  • Do you have any dishes that you only eat on special occasions?

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