Scandinavia in December

Christmas in Lillehammer, Norway
••• Christmas in Lillehammer, Norway. ©T. Rakke/Innov. Norway

The Month of December:

December is a great month for a winter vacation in one of the Scandinavian countries. With winter activities now in full swing, this month you will also experience many seasonal celebrations and Christmas Scandinavian-style. Cozy evenings in a festive mood certainly make up for fewer hours of daylight.

In December, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy a typical celebration of Christmas in Scandinavia and to observe the mysterious Northern Lights.

If you want to visit Scandinavia in December, know that December is a popular month for winter travel. In other words, make sure to plan and book early.

Previous: Scandinavia in November
Next: Scandinavia in January

Weather in Scandinavia in December:

Depending on how far north in Scandinavia you go, a typical December day averages around 28-36 degrees Fahrenheit. For exact temperatures at your Scandinavian destination and monthly averages, visit Weather in Scandinavia.

The same variation goes for the hours of daylight: Whereas the southern part gets 6-7 hours, it may be only 2-4 hours in the far north of Scandinavia. In certain areas of the Arctic Circle, there is no sun at all for a period of time (you will be amazed to see how well the locals have adapted to this.) Make sure to learn more about the 3 natural phenomena of Scandinavia so you're prepared.

Things to Do in December:

With the holiday season comes a variety of events, celebrations and countless festivals in December.

And then there are Scandinavian winter activities: skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling, etc. Partying plays a major role in Scandinavian winter sports. In part, that is born of necessity due to shorter days. Make sure to check when the Scandinavian national holidays are in the country of your choice as there will be additional festivities and holiday celebrations.

Jewish travelers may want to learn about how and where to celebrate Hanukkah in Scandinavia.

Packing Tips for December Trips:

Are you headed to the Arctic Circle? Bring sturdy boots for walking on the snow and ice, a down filled waterproof outfit, hat, gloves, and scarf. Long underwear is perfect to wear under clothing every day. For trips to the cities, bring a down jacket, and maybe a wool overcoat. Better a heavy suitcase once than freezing in the cold for a week! But no matter what your destination is, an insulated coat, gloves, hats, and scarves are the bare minimum for travelers in December. Bundle up!

Events & Holidays in December:

Early Dec: Shop Window Sunday in Malmo, Sweden
Dec 6: Independence Day in Finland
Dec 10: Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway
Dec 10: Nobel Prize Awards in Stockholm, Sweden
Early & Mid-Dec: Christmas Markets in Scandinavia
Dec 13: Saint Lucia Day in Scandinavia
Dec 24: Christmas Eve Holiday - Denmark
Dec 25: Christmas Day – Scandinavia
Dec 26: Boxing Day (day of charitable giving) – Scandinavia

Christmas Traditions & Customs in Scandinavia:

To find out about each Scandinavian country's Christmas traditions and customs, try these interesting articles:
Swedish Christmas Traditions
Norwegian Christmas Traditions
Danish Christmas Traditions
Finnish Christmas Traditions
Icelandic Christmas Traditions

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