Lens Artists Photo Challenge #23: Celebration

This week it is Amy hosting our challenge, and of course she takes us to colourful and festive Peru! The festivities now in Sweden is for celebrating Christmas, and it looks a bit different to colourful Peru…but as my family attended a julbord today, I thought you might want to tag along!

No Swedish-style Christmas is complete without a julbord buffet. If you didn’t grow up with the julbord tradition it may appear to simply be a buffet of everyday foods, but the julbord (literally ”Christmas table”) is dear to many a Swede’s heart.



Normally, what appears on the julbord are several standard dishes, divided into three courses.

The first generally includes a variety of pickled herring and cured salmon, the second is bread, ham, liver pâté, red beet salad, and cheese, and the final course is comprised of the warm dishes with Janssons frestelse, dopp i grytan, meatballs, sausages, pork ribs, and cabbage.

Pork is a significant element here – the julskinka, or Christmas ham, plays a starring role despite the fact it didn’t become common on the julbord until the end of the 1800s.

The Janssons frestelse is a more modern addition too – because of the late arrival of the potato. The recipe wasn’t published until 1940 but the casserole made-up of julienned potatoes, sliced onions, anchovy fillets and cream is a well-loved favorite at Christmas as well as other festive occasions throughout the year.  When our children grew up though, I had to use salmon instead. Today they both enjoy anchovy fillets.

Meatballs are another standard dish and everyone has their own family recipe. Swedish meatballs have become well-known with the world-wide phenomenon of Ikea. But generally speaking – nothing beats my grandmother’s recipe…


Another well loved tradition down here in southern Sweden, is to visit Copenhagen or Elsinore for the Christmas markets. We go every year – for the lights, the fun, the food. Next week – Copenhagen here we come!

26 comments on “Lens Artists Photo Challenge #23: Celebration

  1. Please save me a place at the table! I’d love to come. The food looks wonderful. We used to go to a Swedish smogasbord restaurant when I was growing up. It was always a favorite place. Have a wonderful time in Copenhagen too.

  2. Beautiful presentation of the traditional Swedish food, so delicious! Way to celebrate!
    Lovely Christmas market in Copenhagen. All are beautifully captured.
    Thank you for sharing, Ann-Christine!

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