It’s a tradition in Sweden to watch Donald Duck cartoons on Christmas Eve.

  • Donald Duck cartoon
Donald Duck cartoon
Universal Images Group North America LLC/ Alamy Stock Photo

Disney devotees may be familiar with the 1958 Donald Duck Christmas special From All of Us to All of You, but they probably haven’t seen it as many times as the average Swede. The special first aired in Sweden at 3 p.m. on December 24, 1959, and celebrating Christmas Eve with the temperamental waterfowl quickly became one of the country’s signature holiday traditions. Known in Sweden as Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul (which translates to Donald Duck and His Friends Wish You a Merry Christmas), the special airs on SVT1, the main public television channel, and is presented by a host playing Walt Disney. It’s also slightly different each year, as a contractual obligation requires SVT1 to include a snippet from the Mouse House’s latest film.

If you’re wondering how Kalle Anka became so popular in the first place, it’s partially explained by the fact that Sweden had only two TV channels at the time, and Christmas was the only time Swedes could get a dose of Disney. Traditions have a way of sticking, and Kalle Anka is frequently the most-watched program of the year — 40% of the country tunes in during an average year, and in 1997 more than half the population did. They also tend to do so sans distractions: In 2016, cellphone data usage dropped by 28% while the show was on.

You may also like