Festivals and Occasions That Our Swedish Society Celebrates

Delaware Swedish Colonial Society is a nonprofit group founded in 1937 that aims to commemorate the relationship between Swedes and Americans. Along with our responsibility in preserving historical resources, we also hold celebrations and events related to the Swedish culture.

A group of young people dressed in white holding plates.

Lucia Celebration

From schools, churches, to hotels, the Lucia event is celebrated all over town. Just like how Lucia (St. Lucy) appears with candles on her head, the Attendants and Star Boys wear their white gowns during the event. On the other hand, the youngest and little mischievous tomtens are dressed in red.

As the Delaware Swedish Colonial Society commemorates this celebration, we have found out that our guests enjoy this narrative. In return, we also find it pleasing to share with them this age-old Swedish Christmas tradition.

Early Preparation for the Yuletide Season

This event signifies the official beginning of Christmas preparation in Sweden. Despite the snow already accumulating and nighttime approaching very early, homes remain to be festive in this season—filled with the aroma of pepparkakor (ginger cookies) and Lussekatter (saffron buns).

Participation Activities

Please remember that our program, for the most part, is sung in Swedish. We ask our participants to make sure that they have their “singing voices” so they can sing along, either in English and/or Swedish, in particular parts of the program.

Most of our participants have taken part in our program ever since they were two years old. As little kids, they were our little curious tomten dressed in red. Surely, this activity will be enjoyable for kids and adults alike.

Easter in Sweden

The Easter celebration in Sweden is a five-day event starting on Skärtorsdag (Maudy Thursday) until Annandag Påsk (Easter Monday). Since Sweden is a secular country, Easter is celebrated less of a religious event and more of a family gathering. The buffet is composed of various egg dishes, as well as herring, salmon, and Janssons Festelse.

A Different and Fun Approach to the Celebration

Aside from the traditional egg coloring and decorating, Sweden also indulges in various traditions that are less common outside the country. One of these traditions includes witches.

In Swedish folk tradition, they once believed that witches flew on their brooms to Blåkulla Island on Maundy Thursday to meet with the devil. Many Easter fires were supposed to keep the witches at bay until their return on Holy Saturday. In order to make sure that there are no witches in their chimneys, residents had to burn nine different branches on Easter Sunday before lighting up the fireplace.

Swedish Easter in Modern Times

The Easter witch tradition dates back to the Middle Ages when hundreds of women were executed in Sweden for witchcraft purposes. In today’s generation, this event is done in a cute and fun way where children dress up as Easter witches on Holy Saturday and go door-to-door just like trick-or-treating. They sing songs and hand out drawings, to which they can be rewarded with candies and other sweets.

Become a Member

Through our organization, we hope to spread more information to those who are interested in understanding the culture and history of Sweden. Send Delaware Swedish Colonial Society a message for inquiries on how you can join our organization.