Annual Events at the Scandinavian Cultural Center
Norwegian Constitution Day (17th of May)
On May 17, 1814, Norwegian delegates signed a constitution that made Norway a country distinct from Denmark and Sweden. This day is celebrated in Norway annually with parades and speeches, and by many Norwegian-Americans. Though the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle is famous for its Syttende Mai parade, Pacific Lutheran University has its own tradition of gathering students, faculty, and friends in Centennial Plaza, where a Norwegian flag proudly waives daily in honor of our Norwegian heritage. On the 17th of May, students raise the Norwegian and U.S. flags in a morning celebration, while singing Ja, vi elsker dette landet and the Star Spangled Banner. The Grand Marshal of the Ballard Parade traditionally joins the celebration and brings greetings from Norway, thanks to the Norwegian Consulate for Seattle, Mr. Kim Nesselquist.
Norwegian Heritage Festival
When HM King Olav V of Norway visited Pacific Lutheran University in 1975, local Norwegian-Americans staged a Norwegian Heritage Festival in his honor. It was such a huge success that it became an annual tradition. Today the festival features Norwegian foods, entertainment, vendors, and crafts and demonstrations (e.g., rosemaling, Hardanger embroidery, spinning, and woodcarving).
The Norwegian Heritage Festival celebrates Norwegian culture through artisans, vendors, performers, and authentic food. It usually takes place on the last Saturday in April and runs from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Free admission and free parking.
Relax with friends and family in the Norwegian Café where you will enjoy on-stage performances by Norwegian musical, vocal, and dance groups, while tantalizing your taste buds with authentic Norwegian food such as ertesuppe (pea soup), pølse med lompe (Norwegian hot dogs), rømmegrøt (cream pudding), smørrbrød (open-faced sandwiches) and tasty baked goods. Have fun shopping for authentic Norwegian products in the vendor booths that line the hallways just outside the café.
The Norwegian Heritage Festival is a combined effort of Daughters of Norway Embla Lodge #2, Sons of Norway Norden Lodge #2, and the Scandinavian Cultural Center.
Norwegian Christmas Service (Julegudstjeneste)
An annual event on the PLU campus since 1975, this event is a blend of spiritual songs and scripture readings that tell the story of Jesus. The candlelight service has become a family tradition for many in the Tacoma-Seattle area. The event is conducted by students and faculty in the Norwegian Program. For the last two years it has been held in the newly renovated Ness Family Chapel, which is located on the 3rd floor of the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. This chapel is the Rose Window chapel.
Held in early December, the Norwegian Christmas Service is the perfect way to celebrate the meaning of Christmas with a special candlelight service. The event affords an opportunity for students in the Norwegian program to use their Norwegian language skills in a very meaningful way by forming class choirs and reading scriptures. A reception follows with Norwegian cookies, punch, and coffee. The event is free and open to the public. Sponsors: Scandinavian Cultural Center and Norwegian Program.
Swedish Sankta Lucia Fest
The Sankta Lucia Fest celebrated in the Swedish tradition and takes place in PLU’s Performance Hall Eastvold Auditorium. The hour-long program features Swedish music, song, and dance, and a very special children’s performance. The celebration marks the beginning of the Christmas season at PLU and is a favorite of children and adults.
Nordic Christmas Fest
The annual Nordic Christmas Fest has been a much-anticipated event in the Scandinavian Cultural Center for over two decades. The Cultural Center is at its loveliest with candlelight and magical holiday decorations. The evening is filled with great conversation, fantastic food, and lively entertainment. The lavish Nordic buffet will leave you in “fine fettle!”
The Banquet Menu
Traditional Scandinavian Glögg