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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Sweden Series at SwedishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Swedish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 22, Christmas Vacation. In Swedish, it’s called jullov.
The Christmas holiday in Sweden lasts about two and a half weeks, from sometime in late December to early January.
In this lesson you’ll learn about how the Christmas School Holiday is celebrated in Swedish schools, and how the Swedes choose to celebrate their Christmas holiday.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question? -
Do you know the two most popular travel destinations for Swedish people during their Christmas break?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The Christmas vacation in Swedish schools usually starts around mid-December—usually around the 21st—and it lasts until early January. The Christmas vacation for Swedish children and teenagers is the second longest holiday after the summer holidays. The Christmas vacation falls between two semesters, the fall semester, or hösttermin, and the spring semester, or vårtermin. For college students, the Christmas holiday has become a study period for the coming semester.
In the middle of December, schools hold a Christmas Term Closure, or Julavslutning, and it is different at each school. Sometimes the headmaster will hold a speech in front of the students, and the students will perform. After that the children usually go back to their classrooms to wish their classmates a happy holiday and say goodbye before the break. The Christmas Term Closure is often held in a classroom and sometimes in a church. About twenty-five percent of schools in Sweden hold them in a church, but that’s becoming less and less common. The Christmas Term closure is not as important as the term closure before the summer holidays.
Sweden can become very cold during the winter. However, many people who enjoy the cold and the snow might use the holidays to vacation somewhere they can go skiing and snowboarding. Common destinations are Sälen and Åre. However, many decide to stay home, and celebrate Christmas the traditional Swedish way. Many museums have special Christmas holiday activities, or jullovsaktiviteter, where children can go with their parents and play, be creative and have fun.
In Stockholm, about 16% of the population goes abroad during the Christmas break, while in the north of Sweden it’s only 5%. In Stockholm, the average temperature during December is about zero degrees, while the north is around minus fifteen.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know which are the two most popular travel destinations for the Swedish people during their Christmas break?
Gran Canaria and Phuket are definitely the two most popular destinations. Many people decide to travel to avoid the Christmas stress and the cold. About 50% of those deciding to go abroad travel to places warmer than Sweden.
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What do you do on your Christmas vacation in your country?
Leave us a comment letting us know at SwedishPod101.com. And we'll see you in the next lesson!