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Julsmörgåsbord and festival celebrate heritage

December  10, 2010

Rachel Ostberg, a senior majoring in Scandinavian studies and English, will play the role of Lucia this year. (Augustana Photo Bureau/John Cairns)

Community members are invited to attend a traditional Swedish julsmörgåsbord in Augustana's College Center Dining Room, 3750 7th Ave., at 5:15 p.m. Dec. 14.

This cultural Christmas buffet will be followed by a celebration of the Swedish festival of Sankta Lucia at 7 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall in Denkmann Memorial Hall, 3520 7th Ave.

The julsmörgåsbord is an annual Christmas celebration hosted by the Augustana College Scandinavian Department and the American Scandinavian Association.

The tradition of the julsmörgåsbord began in Sweden in the 14th century. Today, Christmas julsmörgåsbords are held around the world as an important remembrance of the Scandinavian culture. Traditional foods for a Swedish julsmörgåsbord include ham, cold fish or meat slices, Swedish meatballs, casseroles and a variety of breads and cheeses.

The festival of Sankta Lucia, or Feast of Saint Lucy, is a Scandinavian holiday that dates back to the time of the Vikings and the Roman Empire. During the festival, one young female is chosen to play the role of Lucia, a tradition that Augustana chooses to honor in its ceremony. Rachel Ostberg, a senior majoring in Scandinavian studies and English, will play the role of Lucia this year. The jultomte will be Anna Cronin, a senior majoring in Scandinavian studies and psychology.

The celebration also will feature traditional songs and stories by Augustana's Swedish-language students and light refreshments.

The Christmas julsmörgåsbord costs $10.95 for adults and $5.25 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the door. The celebration of the festival of Sankta Lucia is free.

For more information, contact Scott Cason, assistant vice president of communication and marketing, at scottcason@augustana.edu or (309) 794-7323.