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[Sons of Norway Mankato] November 2019

Sons of Norway - eNews

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November 2019

Sons of Norway - Elvesvingen Lodge 1-582

The mission of Sons of Norway is to promote, preserve, and cherish a lasting appreciation of the heritage and culture of Norway and other Nordic countries while growing soundly as a fraternal benefit society and offering maximum benefits to its members.

Membership Banquet: November 9 at 5:30pm

Cost: Free to current members

Guests and other non-members $10.00


Menu: Meatballs, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, and a roll with Apple or Pumpkin Pie (Catered by Truffles)

Program: Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Serving Committee: Lynnell Pemble and Duane Olson Remember to invite a friend or two!

RSVP by November 4th. To reserve a place for the banquet for you and your guest, send your check to: Sons of Norway, P.O. Box 1091, Mankato, MN 56002. Questions, call Linda at 507-388-7139.


Hilsen Fra Presidenten, Karen Abbott

Who would have thought wind and snow would play a part in our October 12th meeting? Due to the weather, Andrea Een, our program presenter, did not want to travel to Mankato. I am very thankful that Phil Bachman agreed to show a DVD on his trip to Norway in 2010. That, along with our open-face sandwiches made for an enjoyable evening. Thank-you to the board for making the sandwiches, and especially to Lynnell Pemble for baking all the delicious bread!

November 9th is the date of our membership banquet. If you didn’t sign up at our last meeting, please contact Linda Stelter by November 4th. Members are free and the cost for guests is $10.00. Invite your friends! Byron Nordstrom will be presenting a program on the Vasa, a Swedish warship that sunk just outside Stockholm harbor on its maiden voyage in 1628.

Our Vikings Begin bus trip was great! 39 of us left Mankato in gloomy, windy, and rainy weather but we were warm and comfy in our Lake Crystal Coach. The first stop was Norway House where a number of people made purchases in their gift shop and checked out the Nordic Ware exhibit. Lunch was at Mindekirken with a program by Jennifer Dalquist on the history of Nordic Ware. Jennifer’s grandparents founded the business in their basement in Minneapolis after WWII and she had many interesting stories and slides. Then we headed to the American Swedish Institute for the Vikings Begin exhibit. Warrior helmets, swords, coins, brooches, etc. were on display from boat graves. I liked the collapsible scale, leather pouch and silver pieces that showed “the importance of trade in Early Viking society. In an economy without currency, the ability to quickly perform transactions was important. The Vikings used pieces of metal as currency by weight.” Along with the Viking exhibit, we toured the Turnblad mansion which is extremely beautiful. Our trip home was in bright sunshine and everyone on the trip seemed to have had a very pleasant day!

We will be taking nominations again for Vice President, and Treasurer. Carol Seifert has agreed to be the new Secretary and Adrian Lo has agreed to fill out the rest of the Editor term. Please consider helping Elvesvingen by filling one of the empty positions. Call me with any questions.

Save the date for our Lefse Bake which will be on December 5th at Christ the King Church from 9:00 to 3:00. We will work in shifts and need you experienced lefse makers to volunteer your time so that we can make our best lefse ever! The bake sale will be at the Mankato Armory on December 7th. Remember that along with the lefse, we need Scandinavian treats such as rosettes, kringla, krumkake, sandbakkels, etc. and other Nordic type items to sell. If you can’t be at the banquet, please contact Lynnell Pemble or Marsha Natvig to find out what you can do to help. This is our big money-maker for the year – let’s make it spectacular!

Ha det bra!


Thanksgiving in Norway M. Michael Brady, Asker, Norway

 Thanksgiving, originally the day of giving thanks for the harvest, is celebrated in various ways on differing days round the world, reflecting the diversity of cultural and religious tradition. In the U.S. and Canada, the history of Thanksgiving can be traced back to the Reformation. As in many other countries, it also hallmarks the harvest. Today the celebration of Thanksgiving Day conveniently is fixed.

The celebration of Thanksgiving in Norway differs. In name, it’s nearly the same: Høsttakkefest translates directly to “Harvest Thanksgiving Feast.” But its roots are older and reflect both religious and secular tradition. The religious roots of Høsttakkefest predate the adoption of Christianity in Norway. In the ancient city of Chonae, on September 29, 380 AD, according to the western liturgical calendar, a church was consecrated to the Archangel Michael. With time, that date was celebrated in the Catholic Church as Michaelmas, spelled Mikkelsmess in the Nordic countries. In medieval Europe, it became associated with the harvest at the end of the farming year. So in Norway, the annual Høsttakkefest was held along with Mikkelsmess or on a Sunday before or after it. In 1770, Mikkelsmess was abolished as a public church holiday in Denmark and Norway. In 1918 Mikkelsmess was reinstated in the Norwegian liturgical calendar, and from 1999 on, its celebration is optional in the Church of Norway. Today Norwegian calendars annotate September 29 as Mikkelsmess.

The secular roots of Høsttakkefest are agrarian and tied to the practice of transhumance, the seasonal movement of people with their livestock between lower valleys in winter and higher pastures in summer. In rural Norway, Høsttakkefest originally was called Buferdsdagen, also spelled Bufardag, traditionally the autumn day on which a farm’s livestock and its tenders moved from a higher summer farm, called a seter, to the main farm in the valley below. Transhumance was not much practiced in English-speaking countries, so Buferdsdagen is one of the few words in Norwegian that has no equivalent in English.

Today, the Norwegian Salmebok (“Hymnal”) has four hymns for Mikkelsmess (numbers 257-260) and four hymns for Høsttakkefest (numbers 253-256). Høsttakkefest is celebrated in churches throughout Norway, usually as a familiegudstjeneste (“Family service”) in which children bring vegetables, fruits, and grains into the church to symbolize the harvest. A family service often includes entertainment, as by children’s choirs, and in churches with suitable facilities, snacks and refreshments after a service.

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 20, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American. Call us at (206) 784-4617.



Last month at the October 12th Meeting


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Bus Trip in October

Nordic Events

Remember to RSVP for your banquet meal!