How cold-weather cultures can help families find joy during a dark winter

These chilly traditions from around the world can turn cold days into cozy opportunities.

When Claudia Laroye spent a year as an exchange student in Karlskoga, Sweden, she found the winter’s fleeting daylight difficult. “It was dark when I went to school and it was dark when I came home from school,” she recalls. “It definitely wore on me.” But the Swedish tradition of lighting a lamp in every window during the shortest days of the year helped lift her spirits—and now she’s brought the tradition to her home in Vancouver.

“I found lights that I liked and installed them in our windows,” says Laroye, a writer and mom of two sons. “We go for walks with our dog every evening after dinner and when I look back at the house, the lights just make

Create a free account to continue and get unlimited access to hundreds of Nat Geo articles, plus newsletters.

Create your free account to continue reading

No credit card required. Unlimited access to free content.
Or get a Premium Subscription to access the best of Nat Geo - just $19

More for your family

Why your kid should be playing right now.
Why music might be the perfect tool to decrease kids’ pandemic stress
Don’t let the pandemic keep kids from going outside in chilly weather