A Taste of Sweden: Semlor and a Movie at the American Swedish Historical Museum

Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 11:00am - 2:00pm
American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Experience an old Swedish tradition: stop by the American Swedish Historical Museum for a delicious semla, a rich puff pastry filled with almond paste and whipped cream. The popular tradition of eating semlor this time of year originates from a time when Sweden was still a Catholic country and fasting was custom 40 days before Easter. The days prior to Lent, on the other hand, included a big feast filled with plenty of food and semlor.

Nowadays, Swedes skip Lent but still enjoy their semlor. The annual start to eating them is even marked in the Swedish calendar and called Fat Tuesday (Fettisdagen), usually occurring in February. However, many Swedes are eager to start enjoying these decadent treats and today you can find semlor in bakeries as early as right after Christmas. Some eat them in a bowl with hot milk, a practice referred to as Hetvägg (Hot Wall).

Semla was also the favourite pastry of the Swedish King Adolf Fredrik, who ruled in the mid 18th century. A rumor claims that he died from having too many at once, which is actually what he is most famous for in Sweden today.

At Semlor and a Movie, you can enjoy homemade semlor and strong coffee, followed by an engaging Swedish film!


  • $12 in advance
  • $15 at the door

Order an extra semla for $6!

Register in advance online or over the phone at (215) 389 -1776. RSVP by February 1st, 2013.


The American Swedish Historical Museum is located in scenic FDR Park at 1900 Pattison Avenue in South Philadelphia near the Sports Complex. Plenty of free parking is available. For those taking public transportation, the Broad Street Subway’s AT&T/Pattison Avenue stop is within walking distance or SEPTA’s Route 17 (Naval Base) can bring you right to the Museum.

Event Type: 
Arts & Culture
History and Preservation
Folk Arts/Culture
Global Region: