Scandinavian holiday traditions in Andersonville
Welcome to a little bit of Sweden! Between its historic architecture, dynamic bar scene, and bustling main street (Clark), Andersonville is a thriving example of a charming urban neighborhood. No time like the holidays to enjoy some of its magic! We’ve selected some of the holiday events and happenings in Andersonville.
This annual holiday classic hosts local artists, vintage vendors, and Swedish vendors. Simon’s Tavern will be serving Glogg and, in addition to all of that, the Holiday Trolley will be running all three days.
One of Andersonville’s many traditional Swedish events. In past years, St. Lucia begins with a torch-lit procession down the sidewalks of Clark Street, kicking off at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 North Clark St. The procession highlight is the appearance of the specially chosen “Lucia Girls,” who will lead the crowd, wearing long white robes and beautiful crowns of candles, and singing “The Lucia Song.” Children and adults also join in the procession. Afterwards all participants attend a Lucia celebration at the Swedish American Museum. The Lucia celebration features a telling of the Lucia legend, family entertainment, and Swedish holiday treats including traditional “pepparkakor” ginger snaps.
Julmarknad is the Museum’s annual Christmas Bazaar, where traditional Scandinavian and modern handicrafts will be available for purchase from outside vendors. You can find gifts, ornaments, food, and more. This is an event for the whole family with crafts, performances, and a special visit from Santa.
Other special holiday events in Andersonville include Late Night Shopping (December 2 & 16), a Holiday Mixer at KOVAL Distillery (December 15), and the Andersonville Holiday Concert at Philadelphia Church (December 16).
Lunar New Year
January 22, 2023
Chinatown & Asia on Argyle (Uptown)
Welcome to the Year of the Rabbit! Chicago has two major Lunar New Year Parades: one in Chinatown and the other in Uptown (Asia on Argyle).
Sunday, January 20
The parade will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue and travel north on Wentworth toward the viewing stand at Cermak and Wentworth.
Food tip: If you are in the mood for some authentic and spicy Chinese food, check out Lao Sze Chuan for classic Szechuan cuisine
Saturday, January 28
The parade will kick-off at 1:00pm headed east from Argyle & Winthrop, south on Sheridan, west on Ainslie, and north on Broadway back to Argyle.
Food tip: celebrate with a reunion dinner at Sun Wah BBQ, a James Beard Foundation Award-winning Hong Kong style BBQ restaurant in Argyle.
December 26 through January 1st
Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration of life, introduced to the United States by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966, as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home. There are several Kwanzaa celebrations on Chicago’s South Side.
Visit the The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center in Washington Park, the nation’s oldest independent African-American Museum, to celebrate and explore ways to incorporate year-long activation of Kwanzaa principles into your daily life. On December 28th, there will be an activation in the building for each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Visitors will move through the Museum to experience them all.
The South Side Community Art Center in Bronzeville will also have a dedicated Kwanzaa program. Founded in 1940, SSCAC is the oldest African-American art center in the United States and is a Chicago Historic Landmark. While taking pride in its rich past, the SSCAC builds on its legacy and innovatively serves as an artist- and community-centered resource with programs, exhibitions, and events that inspire.
Kwanzaa images: The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center
By Leentje De Leeuw