Lillajul, or “Little Christmas”, is an old and popular tradition in Åland. It is always celebrated on the Saturday before the first Advent, this year on 30 November.
The celebration of “Lillajul” is a reminder in the Christmas spirit of the coming celebrations in December. And in the same way as Christmas traditions are different in different families, so do traditions of Lillajul differ from house to house.
A cherished element, especially among families with children, is a small decorated Christmas tree. If the children are lucky there may also be one or two little elves knocking on the door and throwing in a simple Christmas presents – or they may find them under the tree.
A visit to the yearly Christmas market “Lillajulmarknaden” in Jan Karlsgården in Sund is also a tradition. The Christmas market at Jan Karlsgården open-air museum in Sund is the oldest market event on Åland and attracts visitors and market sellers from far and near. There are sales of local handicrafts, home-baked bread, jams, juices, candles and a lot more. You can even leave your wishing list to Santa Claus in the main house of the old farmyard.
There is a bus connection to the market from Mariehamn, as well as a shuttle bus from Åland Golf Club. Read more about the Christmas market at Jan Karlsgården. More information, more markets and other Advent events are to be found in the article about Christmas markets as well as on our events calendar.
In the evening friends and family gather for dinner, often with foods with a taste of Christmas. Another alternative is to book a place at a restaurant’s grand Christmas buffet.
Bring family and friends and jump start your Christmas Holidays 2019 by celebrating Lillajul in Åland on Saturday 30 November 2019. Stay conveniently in a hotel, B&B or in a winter insulated cottage. Book your journey, accommodation and activities via our online booking or contact travel organisers for ready-made travel packages and further information.