What does Kalle Anka (Donald Duck) have to do with Christmas? As a newbie, you are excused from being well-versed in many of Sweden’s Christmas traditions. We suspect however, that this next one will come as quite a surprise!
At 3pm on Julafton (Christmas Eve) for one hour, life across Sweden is paused. Families sit together glued to a program that generations have been watching since 1959. This shows’ cultural significance cannot be overstated.
Watching the Walt Disney special, “From all of us, to all of you” is one of the three most popular TV events of the year, with a staggering 40-50% of the population tuning in. It’s as much a part of a Swedish Christmas as having a Christmas tree!
To give you a heads-up this is not just for kids, age really doesn’t matter. Another unwritten rule is that nobody eats or prepares dinner during this hour. In fact, most families’ entire Christmas eve will be planned around Kalle Anka. No julbord or visits from Tomten (Santa) until after the show!
The history of Kalle Anka in Sweden
Back in 1959 Sweden literally had one TV channel. Christmas was the only opportunity to see Disney or, in fact, any other cartoons. Norway, Denmark and Finland also share this tradition making it a truly Nordic phenomenon.
Over the years, any attempts or suggestions to cancel the show or alter the times has always been strongly opposed. We believe this tradition is here to stay!
So, a word of warning newbies. Even if you don’t watch yourselves, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone to do anything with at 3pm on Julafton! We suggest you tune into SVT1*, sit back, relax, put your feet up and enjoy……..You’d be quackers not to!!!
*note – you cannot stream this after the aired time. Due to licensing agreements with Disney the show is only shown (in full) live on SVT 1.