State Fairgrounds, Raleigh NC - 10am - 5pm, Saturday Dec. 7th, 2019

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Organizers of the Scandinavian Christmas Fair, Raleigh, NC, Dec. 7th, 2019

The annual Scandinavian Christmas Fair is organized by two non-profit organizations: SWEA and VASA.


SWEA is a world wide organization whose primary purpose is to preserve and promote Swedish culture and tradition in countries outside Sweden. We do this through awards and scholarships.

SWEA International is the global network for Swedish- speaking women who live, or have lived abroad. SWEA encourages personal and professional contacts and functions as a network for members worldwide. Today SWEA has over 8000 members in approximately 80 chapters in more than 40 countries on five continents.

SWEA stands for Swedish Women's Educational Association.

SWEA North Carolina is one of the chapters in SWEA International. SWEA North Carolina was established in 1997. At the moment we are about 100 members. Most of our members live in the Triangle in the area around Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Chapel Hill. This is where most of our activities are held. But we have members all over the Carolinas.

We gather to enjoy our Swedish language, background and culture. SWEA is both a meeting point and a safety net with links all over the world, making life abroad easier, providing support when arriving in a new place or when returning to the home land.

SWEA's mission is to protect the Swedish language and to support and raise awareness of our culture and traditions. Additional objectives include acting as an intermediary in supplying personal and professional contacts, and establishing a network for members throughout the world.

Members gather every month for cultural and educational events centered around food, traditions and crafts. We are working to promote the continued growth of the swedish community in the Carolinas. Whenever possible, speakers are invited to address issues of interest to our members.

During the year, our members treat themselves to semlor (Lent buns) and swedish movies, celebrate Valborgsmässoafton (Walpurgis Night) with a bonfire, arrange herring dinners and a kräftskiva (crayfish party), and dine on traditional pea-soup with punch-liqueur. In December, the calendar culminates with our biggest fundraising event, the Scandinavian julmarknad (Christmas Fair) held at the State Fairgrounds together with the Vasa Order of America. We end the year with glögg (mulled wine) party and Lucia celebration in mid-December together with spouses and the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce (SACC).

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The Vasa Order of America is the largest organization for individuals and families of Scandinavian descent in America.  Most of its members are men and women over 14 years of age with Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish or Icelandic roots who would like to enjoy the traditions of their forefathers or share their Scandinavian heritage.  Swedish in origin, the Vasa Order also welcomes those who are not of Nordic ancestry but are committed to the promotion and advancement of Nordic heritage and culture.  Founded more than a century ago, the Vasa Order today boasts nearly three hundred lodges governed by 19 district lodges in the United States, Sweden and Canada.  Members and their families come together monthly for fellowship, traditional celebrations and food, educational experiences, music, folk dancing and other activities.

Vasa's Carl Larsson Lodge meets ten times a year in Raleigh, NC - usually at 6:00 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month (except July and August). Our normal meeting location is the Quail Hollow Swim Club, 800 Orleans Place, in Raleigh. We also meet at other locations for special celebrations such as our fabulous Midsommar Picnic in June and a delightful Crayfish Party in September. Each meeting features a traditional homemade Swedish dinner, as well as a program about some aspect of Sweden and/or Scandinavia. Many evenings also feature live Scandinavian music and dancing.

Our December meeting celebrates the holidays with a beautiful Lucia Procession, after which members and guests enjoy the Julbord - the traditional Swedish Christmas feast!  For more information about the Carl Larsson Lodge or to request a membership application, contact Rita Hollinghurst (919) 544-6242 or

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