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Two traditional Swedish holiday events on Dec. 11

December  01, 2012

Sarah Mattimiro, an English and Scandinavian Studies major, is this year's Lucia. She is from Libertyville, Ill., and is the daughter of Enid and Chris Mattimiro.  (Augustana Photo Bureau/Marla Alvarado Neuerburg)

Augustana College will host two Swedish cultural events on Tuesday, Dec. 11. A Swedish Christmas julsmörgåsbord will begin in the College Center Dining Room (3750 7th Ave) at 5:15 p.m., and a celebration of the festival of Sankta Lucia will begin at 7 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall inside Denkmann Memorial Hall (3520 7th Ave).

Augustana’s Scandinavian department and the American Scandinavian Association host these annual Christmas celebrations. Guests are encouraged to attend both events.

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 Sankta Lucia celebration also will feature traditional songs and stories by Augustana’s Swedish-language students, and light refreshments will be served.

The Christmas julsmörgåsbord costs $12 for adults and $6 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the door. The celebration of the festival of Sankta Lucia is free.

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. Sarah Mattimiro, an English and Scandinavian Studies major, is this year's Lucia. She is from Libertyville, Ill., and is the daughter of Enid and Chris Mattimiro. 

The jultomte will be Ingrid Schneider, a sophomore majoring in Scandinavian studies and geography. She is from Davenport, Iowa, and is the daughter of Gail Baldwin and Don Schneider.  The jultomte is a modernized version of the ancient tomte from folklore.

Keri Rursch
Director of Public Relations
(309) 794-7721
kerirursch@augustana.edu