A Scandinavian Christmas with Nils Olsson Dala Horses

Posted on December 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

It is Christmas and Nils Olsson Dala Horses (Dalahästar), the premiere Dala Horse Workshop, since 1928, in Nusnäs, Dalarna, Sweden, handcrafts the finest of all Dala horses. A Dala Horse is, simply said, a must for Christmas. The classic red is a tradition. Of course, we are proud to offer a selection of colors and sizes.


If you are looking for recipes, Trine Hahnemann's Scandinavian Christmas is a joy.  She offers a potpourri of festive and traditional recipes.

Find a Scandinavian Christmas here on Amazon.

And, you may enjoy following our Nils Olsson Dala Horse Board on Pinterest.

Posted in Christmas Traditions, Dala Horses, Scandinavia

We Now Carry Nils Olsson Natural Wood Dala Horses

Posted on November 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

We've expanded our offerings of Nils Olsson Dala Horses to include these charming Natural Wood dalahast. 


above - on the left , at 4", and to his right, at 5", and below a 2" Christmas Ornament 

To find these Dala Horses click on the images above or click here

In Sweden clearly the tradition is to stand your Dala Horse collection strategically here and there as a central element to your Christmas decor, but we wanted to hang some of ours on our Christmas tree. We admit that we do have a Dala Horse collection on a window sill under a Norfolk Pine year round. Still, we found ourselves determined to add them to our tree ornaments and thus, took dalahast keychains and turned them into Christmas ornaments.  We hope you will enjoy them on your tree as much as we do.

For a thorough presentation of Dala Horse history - we know you will enjoy reading - click here

Natural Wood dalahast smartly shows off the grain of the wood that Dala Horses are individually carved from - they celebrate Sweden's national folk art symbol and the beauty of the wood!

Posted in Christmas Traditions, Dala Horses, Scandinavia

December 13th is the Day of Santa Lucia - The Bearer of Light

Posted on December 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

This year we were pleased to discover the official Swedish Government internet page which explores everything Swedish, including Swedish traditions and a fun and informative page on Santa Lucia - the bearer of light - a celebration that occurs each year on the 13th of December. The Swedish website

includes an extensive history of how the Santa Lucia tradition came to be, and how Santa Lucia's Day is celebrated in modern Sweden: "Alongside Midsummer, the Lucia celebrations represent one of the foremost cultural traditions in Sweden, with their clear reference to life in the peasant communities of old: darkness and light, cold and warmth.

Lucia is an ancient mythical figure with an abiding role as a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters.  The many Lucia songs all have the same theme:

The night treads heavily
around yards and dwellings
In places unreached by sun,
the shadows brood
Into our dark house she comes,
bearing lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia
All Swedes know the standard Lucia song by heart, and everyone can sing it, in or out of tune. On the morning of Lucia Day, the radio plays some rather more expert renderings, by school choirs or the like.
The Lucia celebrations also include ginger snaps and sweet, saffron-flavoured buns (lussekatter) shaped like curled-up cats and with raisin eyes. You eat them with glögg or coffee."

Santa Lucia's Day is celebrated throughout Europe, but, of course especially in the Scandinavia countries.  Inge-Glas of Germany memorializes her in their lovely mouth-blown Christmas ornament

Continuing the Scandinavian theme, this year we once again carry Swedish Angel Chimes and for the first time offer Nils Olsson's Dala Horses.

                                                                             You may also enjoy our Pinterest board on Scandinavia.

Posted in Christmas Candles, Christmas Legends, Christmas Traditions, Dala Horses, Inge-Glas, Scandinavia

Dala Horses from Renown Nils Olsson Hemslöjd (Handicraft) ab Workshop, Nusnäs, Sweden

Posted on November 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

My Growing Traditions is pleased to now carry the Scandinavian Folk Art symbol - the Dala Horse (Dalahäst). We have chosen the very best - the art of the Nils Olsson Hemslöjd (Handicraft) ab workshop founded on 28 June 1928 in Nusnäs, Sweden. And, we carry multiple sizes (1-1/2" to 6" tall). The most famous design, the essential Dala Horse

is available in red, blue, black and pink.

The Antique, more traditional, Horse is available in red and black                    

and we even have an irresistible Dala Pig

In Nordic mythology the horse belonged to the Gods. Horses arrived in Sweden 4000 years ago when they were tamed and domesticated by the Stridsyxe people. It is known that the precursor to the Dala Horse, carved wooden horses, have existed in Sweden since at least the 1600s. In the 1700s forestry workers of Dalarna sat by the fire after a hard day’s work of timbering and carved toys for their children - to carve a horse was only natural, the horse being essential to their trade and a symbol of strength, courage, faithfulness, wisdom, and dignity. 

In the 1800s it became common to paint the carved horses, using the kurbits style of decorative painting of the Dalarna province used to paint furniture and other decorative items in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the 1830s Swedish artist Stika Erik Hansson painted Dala horses with a unique two-color (red and green) simplified form of kurbits decoration and his Dala horse pattern became the tradition for Dala horse making in Sweden. Peddlers traveled throughout Sweden selling their household wares and Dala Horses (which they often used to barter for their food and shelter). Production of the horses became centered in Dalarna, especially in Nusnäs, and remains there today. The name “Dala Horse” (Dalahäst) is a diminutive derived from the word “Dalecarlian,” the language/dialect spoken in Dalarna. 

The Olson family brothers Nils and Jannes, 13 and 15 years of age, of Nusnäs, began by carving horses in their home after school as a cottage industry. In 1928 they borrowed 400 dollars to start up a workshop. Dala Horses became world famous when they were presented as traditional Swedish Folk Art at the World’s Expo in Paris (1937) and at the World’s Fair in New York (1939). Today, the Dala Horse is a national symbol of Sweden.

Nils Olsson Hemslöjd (Handicraft) ab is renown for creating the most refined, artistic, and thus collectible Dala Horses, and we are proud to now offer them to you.

Posted in Dala Horses, Scandinavia

Santa Lucia's Day - Saint Lucy

Posted on December 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

December 13th is Santa Lucia's Day.  It is celebrated throughout Europe, but especially in the Scandinavia countries.  Inge-Glas of Germany memorializes her in their lovely mouth-blown Christmas ornament

 Today's blog post of Lavender and Lovage is one you will enjoy. Visit their page about Saint Lucy - for a recipe for Saffron buns and more. Lavender and Lovage provides a simple and wonderful description of the Scandinavian Santa Lucia traditions on December 13th.  

"The oldest daughter of the family rises just before dawn and dresses in a white gown with a red sash, which symbolises Lucia's purity and her martyrdom. On her head she places a crown of lingonberry twigs and leaves in which candles are set, in memory of the candles Lucia wore when she visited the prisoners.  She is now the 'Lucia bride' or the 'Queen of lights". She then prepares fresh coffee, ginger biscuits, and Lussekatter (meaning 'cat' buns or cakes'), which she takes to her parents in bed."

You may also enjoy our Pinterest board on Scandinavia.


Posted in Christmas Traditions, Inge-Glas, Scandinavia