St. Knut’s Day – Looting the Christmas Tree

Last year I wrote about St. Knut’s Day, a holiday celebrated on January 13th, in Sweden, Finland and Norway. St. Knut’s Day is all about getting rid of all the Christmas decorations and throwing out the tree, thus ending the Christmas season.

When I wrote about it last year, I asked if anyone knew of any St. Knut’s Day songs. Recently Kristina wrote in with a song, and with interesting information about the holiday…

There is one song that is sung on Knut:

In Swedish:

Nu är glada julen slut, slut, slut.
Julegranen bäres ut, ut, ut.
Men till nästa jul igen,
kommer han vår gamle vän,
för det har han lovat.

In English:

Now the merry Christmas is over, over, over,
The Christmas tree is carried out, out, out,
But for next Christmas again,
He is coming our old friend
Because he has promised that.

Knut was/is a rather festive day. At least up until 50 years ago. Children liked it a lot as the tree was often decorated with candy (candy canes, sugar decorations and smällkarameller / crackers with hidden bits of candy). All Christmas they had to look at these sweets without eating them, but on Knut all decorations were taken down and the candy could be eaten. That is called julgransplundring (Christmas tree looting).

As we no longer have much candy on the trees and few people want to eat old candy, it’s not as big as it used to be. Some still see it as a festive day and invite kids over for a kids party where they hand out candy. There are also some different local traditions.

Thanks for writing in Kristina! If anyone else would like to share a St. Knut’s Day song or tradition, feel free to comment below.

-Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, January 17th, 2007 at 1:04 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Finland, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Norway, St. Knut's Day - Tjugondag Knut, St. Knut's Day Songs, Sweden, Swedish, Swedish Children's Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “St. Knut’s Day – Looting the Christmas Tree”

  1. Janna Says:

    I was born on January 13th. My dad was full Norwegian and his parents full Norwegian, spoke Norwegian, but I only just heard about this day. I’m not sure why it was never told to me. My daughter happened on this just this week and shared it. Learn something new every day! Kind of fun that I was born on the 13th.

  2. Lisa Says:

    That’s neat Janna! Now you have a new activity for your birthday party every year. :)

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