On June 6, the Consulate General of Sweden, San Francisco held the second annual Swedish National Day Celebration at the Swedish Church, San Francisco, Cal.
Swedish National Day Celebration at the Swedish Church in San Francisco―an afternoon with blue and yellow, music, coffee, princess cake and champagne.
As soon as most of the guests arrived and found a place to sit with a view of the blue bay water, the green hills and Golden Gate Bridge, the Swedish General Counsel of San Francisco, Barbro Osher, welcomed everyone and explained why Sweden has its national day on June 6. The holiday has its roots in 1523 when Gustav Vasa became king. June 6, 1916 became Swedish Flag Day, and it was first recognized in 2005 as a holiday, celebrated with fika.
Usually, fika comes at the end of a celebration, but because many of the event's guests traveled a long way, fika was enjoyed early in hopes that everyone would be there in time for the concert.
The concert began with everyone singing the national anthem, “Du gamla du fria” and the the psalm “En vänlig grönskas rika dräkt,” with Ragnar Bohlin at the piano. Thereafter, Bohlin played a few solos and accompanied soprano Ann Assarsso, who sang “En sommardag,” “Sjung, du underbara sång,” “Där björkarna susar,” and a variety of other familiar pieces. Bohlin's young and talented son, Mikael, played “Scherzo” on his cello, and the concert ended with everyone singing Psalm 202, “Den blomser som i marken bor.”
As Barbro Osher thanked everyone for coming, all the guests started to sing again―this time to Osher herself―a belated “Ja, må hon leva,” in honor of her recent milestone birthday. Lisa Wiborg handed over a card signed by all the guests, and Osher received an enormous blue and yellow flower arrangement. Before she could continue, it was time for another “Ja, må han leva”―this time for Bohlin, who just turned 45.
Swedish National Day Celebration at the Swedish Church in San Francisco