Sunday, 6 December 2015

Santa time

Today it was the annual Christmas market at work, which means that while a lot of other people were out trooping at the SSFGC in Stockholm, I dressed up as miss Santa and had guided tours in the mine.

As you can see traditional Swedish Santas don't look like the big, red jolly Santa Claus. In fact it's quite wrong to translate Swedish tomte into Santa, since the Swedish tomte is a mix of the tomte of Scandinavian folklore, the yule goat and different Father Christmas traditions that came to life in the middle of the 19th century. As such there is not one single Santa Claus, rather every home can have its own tomte, and he doesn't come through the chimney rather he knocks on the door to deliver his presents. When I grew up the tomte wasn't associated with reindeers, rather with horses and goats, but nowadays we've imported the reindeer sleigh from Anglo-Saxon traditions so it's getting more and more common here.

A traditinal tomte is more about wearing homewoven and traditional clothes, mostly in greys and browns, but with accents of red in it, most commonly a red cap.

Swedish tomtar preparing for Christmas.

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