Skansen is the world's oldest open-air museum. It was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius to show how people lived and worked in Sweden during earlier times. Approximately 150 buildings were moved to the area from all over Sweden.

The zoo shows Scandinavian wildlife, some farm buildings have livestock and an aquarium houses exotic animals. There are also many exhibits, restaurants, playgrounds and shops.
Christmas celebrations at Skansen start the first Saturday of Advent, November 29. The traditional Christmas market, which started in 1903, celebrates 111 years this season. Market stalls are filled with food, treats and decorations. The fires are lit in the historic houses, everything is decorated and Christmas trees are dressed.
Ayla Kabaca and the Christmas Orchestra organize the dance around the Christmas tree. There are dashing games with all the classic Christmas songs.

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The Christmas market also includes Christmas crafts and candle making in the House of the Forest, all workshops are open with fresh buns baked over an open fire, mulled wine, donuts and lussekatter, candied almonds and choral singing in various places at the market.
Christmas is also celebrated as in the old days in houses and farms. There’s a beautifully set Christmas table in the Delsbo farmhouse, Oktorpsgården and the bondagers’ barracks.

Changing of the guard for New Years
To ring in the New Year is a tradition from the late 1800s. The radio began with the ringing of bells in 1927, and from 1950 the popular radio voice of Sven Jerring commented on the ringing of all Sweden’s cathedrals that marked the stroke of midnight. Swedish television now broadcasts New Years celebrations at Skansen with the reading of Alfred Tennyson's "Ring Out, Wild bells" as a permanent feature.
Jan Malmsjö has read Tennyson’s poem on New Year's Eve the last 12 years, from 2001 to 2013. He came close to actor Jarl Kulle’s record of 13 years but has handed over the proclamation in 2014 to baritone singer and actor Loa Falkman. In the Swedish translation the poem leads with the bombastic “Ring, klocka ring” (translation not needed) and it was reportedly read for the first time at Skansen in 1895, a few years after its translation, by the actor Nicklas Bergendahl. Two years later Skansen’s creator Hazelius commissioned the aspiring actor Anders de Wahl to read the poem. The tradition was dormant for some time after de Wahl’s death in 1955 but was reestablished in 1977 with the character actor Georg Rydeberg, who was replaced in 1982 by Jarl Kulle, then by Margaretha Krook in 1997, who preceded Malmsjö.
“It feels solemn to get to ring in the New Year from Skansen with the entire Swedish population,” says Loa Falkman on the unique assignment.

Actor and entertainer Jan Malmsjö claims he has gone to his annual check-up, and the doctor said he could live to be 100! “I of course felt this would be too long to read the New Year bells. So I took the sensible decision to step aside. I am happy about the choice of Loa for the job. We have worked together at the Opera House and we can not play against each other without bursting into laughter.”

Anyone curious to hear the different voices of Ring Out, Wild Bells can search Youtube or listen to a medley at Nyårsklockan - Krook, Kulle, Rydeberg Anders de Wahl's solemn proclamation can be listened to here Anders de Wahl: Nyårsklockan av Lord Alfred Tennyson

More info on Skansen, see http://www.skansen.se