Friday, December 6, 2019

Victorian Swedish Christmas Etiquette

Carl Viking’s illustration of a Christmas Table

The Christmas Table 

“I have drawn the Christmas table according to my grandmother's directions. The head of the family had the biggest share of bread, which was piled up at the extreme left of the table. On the top of the pile was a little bird made from wheat and flour, with a grain of corn in its beak. next to the father's pile of bread was the mothers, then the children's, and, last of all, the servants. 

The vessels on the table are:
  1. a pewter tankard 
  2. a pewter dish for cream cheese  
  3. beer bowl  
  4. oak beer can 
  5. aquavit decanter of green glass  
  6. silver tumblers  (#6 and #7)
  7. corresponding to the modern schnapps glasses
  8. china dish for lye-cured fish 
  9. a pewter porridge bowl. 

“But there was also a large pewter dish with a pig's head on it, as well as several other vessels. On the table too, we see a three-branched candle, a symbol of the Holy Trinity, and two other candles. 

“Note: On the Christmas table stood a wooden can of the best beer, which no one was allowed to drink. It was called ‘Angel beer’ and was intended for the Christmas Angel.” —From “Christmas in Sweden 100 Years Ago” by Tre Tryckare, 1964

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia©️Etiquette Encyclopedia

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