Swedish Yuletide (English)

Swedish Yuletide – The SWEA Fair and Holiday Celebration

Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street
Saturday, December 6, 2014 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission $10, Children under 13 free.

Swedish Yuletide in Boston – SWEA video

The Swedish Christmas Tradition

Christmas in Sweden is a special time of year. The weather might be cold and gloomy with not much daylight, but the Swedes remain in good cheer by beginning celebrations with the start of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas. One candle is lit every Sunday to mark the coming holiday. Or by attending a Lucia procession on December 13. Known as the Queen of Light, Lucia wears a white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head brings the promise of light for the upcoming holidays with her young entourage.

Since 1985, SWEA Boston has hosted Swedish Yuletide to celebrate Christmas and the holiday season with foods, crafts, gifts, Swedish cafés, musical entertainment, and activities for children. This annual event attracts thousands of visitors and is the largest Scandinavian event in New England.


Illustration by
Margareta Bergman






Swedish Yuletide offers a smorgasbord of both traditional and contemporary Sweden. Visitors can enjoy Nordic style sandwiches, Swedish meatballs and waffles in the many cafés and, of course, glögg, the hot spicy beverage of the season. Unique gifts and designs are available to view or purchase through SWEA and the many vendors, such as home accessories, clothing, jewelry, Sami crafts, books and other extraordinary gifts. Foods and baked goods are also available to bring home.

What is Lucia?

Lucia is the celebration that takes place in Sweden on the year’s darkest day, December 13 – the shortest day according to the old calendar, i.e. before 1753.

Lucia, the Queen of Light, wears a white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head. She leads a procession called “Luciatåg” where she is accompanied by several young attendants, also dressed in white with candles in their hands. They perform seasonal songs and bring coffee, ginger breads and saffron buns. But most importantly, they bring light amid the long and dark winter. To many, the highlight of Swedish Yuletide is the traditional Lucia procession. The children of Svenska Skolan (the Swedish School of Boston) participate together with Swedish students and au pairs under the direction of Karina Granbom and Eva DiLascio.


Kaffestugan – The Swedish Café

Swedish Yuletide also offers customary foods – visitors can enjoy Swedish meatballs, shrimp and salmon sandwiches, cakes and waffles in several cafés, and, of course, glögg, the hot spicy drink of the season. Food and baked goods from the Swedish Crown Bakery in Worcester will be served but also available for purchase to bring home.

Open-face sandwiches with mounds of delicious shrimp, smoked salmon and more.

The “Våffelstuga” features freshly baked, heart-shaped waffles with jam and whipped cream.

And of course all the foods, pastries, cookies, cakes imaginable.

Directions and Transportation

Map via Society of Crafts

More Transportation Information

Downloadable Images

  • Tomtar
  • little girl at SWEA Boston's Yuletide
  • Lucia Procession
  • Lucia and Children

Swedish Yuletide Sponsors