November 15, 2013

Countdown to Christmas in Stockholm...

Photo by Henrik Trygg, Stockholm Visitors Board
This Sunday, November 17th, the Christmas season starts with the traditional skyltsöndag (literally "sign Sunday" though sign refers to window displays). This is the Sunday when the department store Nordiska Kompaniet, or just NK, reveals its popular, holiday inspired, window displays. The big reveal is at 10:50am and there is usually a big crowd ready to oh-and-ah. Part of the reveal is to see what theme the window displays will have. But that is not all... Santa Claus, or jultomten, will be on hand until 5pm accepting wish lists from naughty & nice children. After this Sunday, Santa will be at NK on Fridays to Sundays until the 16th of December, after which he will be in-house daily until the 23rd.
A past, non-traditional, holiday window display at NK.
Skyltsöndag is really just to whet your appetite... the holiday season officially kicks off next weekend with two large events. The first of the Christmas markets (the one in the main square of Gamla Stan) opens for business on Saturday, November 23rd at 11am. It will then be open daily, from 11am to 6pm, until December 23rd. Most of the other Christmas markets open on the following weekend. So this is your chance at getting a jump on your yuletide shopping!
Photo by henrik Trygg, Stockholms Visitor Board
November 23rd is also the date when the official holiday light displays are turned on! This is the third year in the row where Stockholm goes full out in their light displays... using over half a million LED lights to make the city all twinkley. The lighting ceremony will be held at 3pm where Bilioteksgatan meets Stureplan. Stockholm City has put together a brochure/map showing all of the streets, bridges and squares that will be lit up... letting you do a "walking path of light" when visiting Stockholm this holiday season. These maps are free and will be available at the airport, train station and tourist information centers. If you are staying at the Rival Hotel, then you are in luck... we will have them here for our guests! Just talk to me after checking in.

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