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House of Sweden
Founded: 1935

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House of Sweden Cottage:
In 1996 an ambitious “Viking Vision” campaign was initiated to fund the architectural and interior remodeling the House of Sweden.  The house is spacious, beautiful and charming, decorated in the Carl Larsson tradition of true Swedish design.

Dance Class:
A Scandinavian dance class is held every Wednesday evening from 7:30 – 10:00 pm at “Dancing Unlimited” at the corner of 30th Avenue and Madison in San Diego.

Swedish Midsummer Festival and Lawn Program

Swedish Midsummer Festival and Lawn Program

Swedish Meatballs


Swedish Easter Celebration – Eggsexa:
On the Saturday before Easter the members and their families celebrate the Easter Holiday with a potluck at the House of Sweden from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Jul - Christmas Luncheon:
On a Saturday noon in Mid-December the members and their guests hold a Christmas Luncheon at a location that will be determined in advance.

Swedish Midsummer Festival and Lawn Program:
Every year on the third or fourth Sunday in June the House of Sweden celebrates the summer solstice  - the longest day of the year, with their annual Lawn Program and Midsummer Festival.

For this occasion the house is decorated with garlands of leaves, flowers and birch branches both inside the cottage and outside on the patio.

From 8:00 to 10:00 am the day’s festivities begin with a members breakfast at the cottage and the decorating of the Majstang (Maypole) with flowers and greenery. 

The 2:00 pm outdoor stage program includes entertainment such as Swedish Folkdance Club of Los Angeles, who perform detailed dances in their beautiful folk costumes. The historical significance of the Midsummer Celebration is explained, dignitaries from the House of Sweden and the Swedish-American Community are introduced, and small children sing traditional Midsummer songs to the delight of the visitors to the Park. 

The event then shifts from the outdoor stage to the area around the Maypole.  Traditional accordion and fiddle music allow Swedes and non-Swedes alike to participate in festive circle dances around the maypole, accompanied by much singing and laughter.  Look for the many traditional Swedish folk costumes worn by men, women and children.  Many of these costumes have been handed down from one generation to the next, valued for both their beauty and tradition.

Midsummer foods can be purchased by the public.  Kottbullar (Swedish meatballs) served with bread, lingonberries, Inlagd Gurka (pickled cucumbers), and Swedish pastries.

Foods served at the Ethnic Food Fair:
Swedish pastries, almond coffeecake, cookies and other pastries, coffee and lemonade.

Foods served at the December Holidays:
Swedish meatballs with lingonberries, cucumbers, limpa, pastries, cookies and Swedish almond coffeecake. Glogg (mulled wine) alcoholic or non-alcoholic and coffee.

Swedish National Day – June 6th
Working alongside the members of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA), the House of Sweden enjoys celebrating Swedish National Day at the cottage.  The Swedish flag is prominently displayed, and all enjoy food, coffee and fellowship on this special day that is dear to the hearts of all Swedes.

Lucia by Swedish painter Carl Larsson, 1908

Children in a nursery school in Sweden singing traditional Lucia songs, 


The Swedish Motto:  (painted over the interior arch in the cottage)
“Alsken Hvarandra Barn, Ty Karleken Ar Allt”
Love each other children, for love is everything.

The Swedish Christmas Tradition of St. Lucia:
A highlight of the Swedish yuletide is the visit of Santa Lucia, the Queen of Light on December 13th.  During the December Nights Celebration many of the children and grandchildren of the House of Sweden join the SWEA’s Lucia Procession and Celebration at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park. 

The Lucia herself will be gowned in a robe of white, tied with a crimson sash.   Atop her head is a crown, covered with evergreen that holds seven candles.  She leads the procession (Luciatag) joined by maidens and star boys who parade slowly, singing with their faces bathed in the candles’ warm glow.  They sing traditional Swedish Jul songs on the stage for all to enjoy.  It is a touching and centering moment, one that is a joy to experience in all the rush that surrounds the holidays.

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Lesser Coat of Arms


In 1935, the California Pacific International Exposition extended an invitation to Swedish organizations to participate in the formation of the House of Pacific Relations, a feature of the Exposition.  A committee was elected and funds were raised to furnish “Villa Skansen” which opened on May 30, 1935.  A Swedish Day celebration was first held on July 19, 1936 featuring Swedish folk dancers, a Swedish Drill Team, and Swedish-American dignitaries.  When war was declared in 1941, the Armed Forces took over Balboa Park and it’s buildings, with the House of Sweden becoming a home to servicemen during that period.

Following WWII, the House of Sweden began to flourish and grow in membership.  It was incorporated in 1962 as a non-profit corporation.  Its objectives are to promote Swedish social and educational programs, and to perpetuate and preserve the Swedish culture, customs, traditions, art, songs, dances, and language as a precious heritage for future generations.  To that means, in 1996 an ambitious “Viking Vision” campaign was initiated to fund the architectural and interior design remodel of the House of Sweden cottage in the Carl Larsson tradition.   With fundraising in excess of $50,000 and strong corporate sponsorship, the “new” House of Sweden was dedicated in June 2000 creating a living Swedish heritage for the future.  The house is clearly one of the most beautiful cottages in Balboa Park, and true to Swedish design.

The House of Sweden works closely with other Swedish-American organizations including the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA), Vasa Order of America, Digital Vikings, The Swedish Consulate, and the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, San Diego-Tijuana Chapter.  The House also enjoys a positive corporate relationship with IKEA, Ericsson Wireless Communications, Pergo Flooring, and the Swedish Council of America.

large product photo   FUTURE PLANS

We promote Swedish social and educational programs, and perpetuate and preserve the Swedish culture, customs, traditions, art, songs, dances, and language as a precious heritage for future generations.  Our civic contributions are many.  Our members have heart, friendship, culture appreciation, and secret recipes for meatball gravy and Glogg that will knock your socks off! 

Do you love Sweden too? 
Membership in the House of Sweden is open to: persons of Swedish birth; individuals of Swedish decent; persons married to one of the above; and individuals with a special interest in Swedish culture.  Contact Membership chair Eivor Carlson to join: (858) 459-6606. 

We hope to see you soon.  Tack!

large product photo   COUNTRY INFORMATION

Land Area: 449,964 sq km                                
Population:  9,031,088 (July 2007 est.)
Capital City: Stockholm                                         
Language:  Swedish, small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
Religion:  Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%
Form of Government: constitutional monarchy
Economy: Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole of the 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade.
Export: machinery 35%, motor vehicles, paper products, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, chemicals


Source: The World Factbook - Sweden





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