Swedish living Archives - Moz Sweden

Category: Swedish living



Sports holiday (sportlov) is a special week off for many school children. This week in February is meant to be spent outdoors, to enjoy the fresh air and make a fun week out of a gloomy month.

What is ”sportlov”?

Sportlov is a school holiday where children get a week off school in February to enjoy the outdoors, and spend time with friends and family. Today, many families go away on skiing holidays, or spend time outside sledding, having picnics or taking hikes in nature reserves. It’s the key holiday for winter activities and winter sports, and a welcoming break in an otherwise gloomy month.

  • Boy with Moz on the sleigh
  • Fika in the sun
  • Cross country skiing, sportlov
  • Boy getting kisses from dog

The origin of sportlov

The week of sportlov has been around since the 1940’s, but in the beginning it had nothing to do with letting kids enjoy the snow – quite the opposite. During the beginning of the second World War, fuels and heating supplies became very expensive, forcing schools to close for a week in order to save both money and fuel. Sweden experienced some of the harshest and coldest winters during WW2, and closing schools was a way to handle the shortage and expenses of heating fuels.

What to do during sportlov

There are several activities you can do during sports holiday. Many of them don’t even require going away: you can have a lovely and fun sports holiday at home with the family, enjoying the outdoors without any major preparations.

  1. Spend a day in the ”pulkabacke”. A ”pulkabacke” is a small hill dedicated for sledding. Since many small hills are covered in snow in February, going sledding is fun for the whole family
  2. Go for a winter picnic. Load up the thermos with hot chocolate and pack a bag for a day out in the woods or nature reserve. Cinnamon buns, hotdogs, blankets and gloves are needed to enjoy the fresh air
  3. Build a snowman! And let your imagination go wild. If there’s snow outside, make a whole village – or maybe a castle? A real size horse, or why not a big igloo? Make sure to seize those snowy days.
  4. If you have the opportunity, go skiing. Going on a skiing holiday is one of the most classic activities for sports holiday. Nothing beats the feeling after a snowy day in the slopes!

The Swedish fika

The Swedish fika

The Swedish fika has become somewhat of a phenomenon – both the word and the actual activity. Here’s everything you need to know about fika, the do’s and don’ts and what you need for your own fika with friends.

What does fika mean?

The Swedish word ”fika” means ”to have something sweet to eat and something hot to drink”. It could be coffee or tea together with a small cookie, a cinnamon bun or a bakery good. There are no rules in what you have for fika: as long as there’s something to eat and drink, that is less than a meal but more than a fruit.

The only rule that applies is: don’t say fika when you only mean a coffee. If you just want to grab a coffee with someone, then you say ”let’s have a coffee”. Otherwise, there could be a huge misunderstanding. Maybe even… some angry looks?

Table with two cups of coffee and pink Moz handbag

When to have fika

One tradition is to have fika twice a day. This ”rule” can be found in the older population – the grandmothers and grandfathers – who often have fika at 11 o’clock and 15 o’clock. A small bite of something before lunch, and a slightly bigger bite of something after lunch. But if you think that fika twice a day is a bit too much, you can do fika like the younger generation: set a date between friends at a cozy café, and make sure to show up hungry. The classic is to get a large latte and a huge cinnamon bun – but any kind of modern coffee drink with a bakery good is great. Sitting down like this for a warm drink and something sweet to eat is the perfect way to spend time together.

Woman in gloves having a coffee in a Moz mug.

Make you own fika

Of course you can invite friends or family for fika at home! Nothing says ”luxury” as much as homemade goods with a huge cup of lovely tea or coffee. If you invite people to your house for a fika, put an extra effort into the bakery goods and let the tea or coffee speak for itself. You’re not expected to pull off a latte at home: a perfectly brewed pot of coffee served with milk on the side will make any Swede happy!

When it comes to the bakery goods, you don’t have to make a lot to pull off a great fika. Homemade cinnamon buns will take you far, just as a great plate of brownies or cupcakes will. Don’t sweat to present a whole bakery shop: it’s just as important to sit and talk together as it is to enjoy the fika.

Cinnamon buns and a Moz coffee pot.
People having coffee, outside, winter People having coffee, outside, winter

The must-have fika list

Here are some suggestions and inspiration if you want to invite friends to your own Swedish fika:

  1. Invite people after lunch, around 14-15:00. That way you have some time to prepare without having to stress.
  2. Prepare the bakery goods in the morning, such as baking cinnamon buns, mud cake or something else that will be freshly made for the afternoon.
  3. You don’t have to offer more than one or two alternatives for tea – just make sure the alternatives are full of flavor and goes well with milk, since some people love to drink their tea with a lot of milk.
  4. If you want to make a luxury brewed pot of coffee: buy whole coffee beans and grind them in a coffee grinder right before brewing.
  5. Make more coffee than people: the chance of ”påtår” – a second cup of coffee – is big.

Fika is not just about eating and drinking – it’s also about spending time with people you love and care about. So make sure to clear the schedule for the rest of the afternoon and enjoy the time together!

New baked cinnamon buns on stove, Moz mittens.