One of the nicest advent calendars I know of is Gamla Stan’s real live advent calendar. Levande julkalendern is a lively advent calendar where a shutter opens every evening at one of the houses in Gamla Stan in Stockholm.
The spectators are treated to 15 minutes of culture. Poems are recited, stories read aloud, music is played and sung and there sometimes is some dancing. The stories and performances of Levande julkalendern always have a link with Christmas and / or with Gamla Stan. It is quite small-scale, although the last times I went there I found that more and more people attended it.
Good to know: it’s all in Swedish. Yet you can drop by to soak up the atmosphere if you don’t understand Swedish. The first time I attended Levande julkalendern it was in a courtyard. There was a choir that sang Tänd ett ljus and they (exceptionally) also handed out glögg and pepparkakor. A very nice moment and even my travel partner then, who doesn’t understand Swedish still speaks about!
Levande julkalendern practical information
Levande julkalendern went digital in 2020. They collected pieces from the archive from 2005 to 2019. This year, in 2021, they will perform live again.
During the Advent from December 1 to December 24, every day at 6:15 pm, somewhere in Gamla Stan a shutter, window or door will open on a square or in one of the many narrow alleys. You can find the exact location on the Mäster Olofsgården site. Please note: On December 24, the shutter will already open in the morning.
Tip: just before you go to the advent calendar, go and buy a pepparkakslatte at Bröd & Salt to make it extra cozy (and to keep you warm during the cold evenings).