Swedish Christmas Fair brings Scandinavia to the SF holidays

Courtesy photoJenny Sagstrom

Jenny Sagstrom is on the organizing committee for the 28th annual Swedish Christmas Fair, which will be a festive gathering with entertainment, gifts, handicrafts and Scandinavian delicacies to stuff any stocking. The fair will be held at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough St., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $2 to $4. Call (415) 823-6957 for more information.

How many people come every year? We get around 2,000 to 3,000 people.

What is one of the most popular aspects of the fair? The Lucia procession, which we do every few hours, is beautiful and very popular. It’s a tradition in Sweden, which gets dark by 3 p.m. in the winter, to have a girl represent St. Lucia, who arrives with candles in her hair bringing light and airiness to the dark Nordic winter. In our procession, Lucia is joined by children bringing saffron buns and gingerbread cookies, traditional Swedish treats, and they sing carols.

The fair benefits the Swedish Women’s Educational Association. What are some of the things that they do in San Francisco? SWEA promotes Swedish culture and language outside of Sweden. It’s a way for the women to connect to their roots.

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