December 13, Young Professionals Lucia Celebration

Friday 13 December 2024
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Date: December 13, 2024
Time: 18.00 – 20.00
Venue: Tbc

 

Get ready for one of our most iconic events of the year – the traditional Lucia celebration! Experience the magic of Swedish tradition with the Young Professionals as we treat our members to an unforgettable evening filled with Lucia choir, songs, candlelight, glogg, and gingerbread. Amidst the fantastic atmosphere and good spirits, there’s plenty of room for laughter and fun. Join us on December 13 for a taste of Sweden in the Netherlands and celebrate Lucia with us before we all head off for the holidays.

 

We’re currently on the lookout for a cozy venue for this special event. Have any ideas? Feel free to share them with the YP Team at yp@swedishchamber.nl. Stay tuned for more details!

 

ABOUT THE SWEDISH LUCIA TRADITION

The annual candlelit Lucia procession on 13 December is perhaps one of the more exotic-looking Swedish customs, with girls and boys clad in white full-length gowns singing songs together.

The real candles are now sometimes replaced with battery-powered ones, but there is still a special atmosphere when the lights are dimmed and the sound of the children singing grows as they enter from an adjacent room.

Tradition has it that Lucia is to wear ‘light in her hair’, which in practice means a crown of electric candles in a wreath on her head. Each of her handmaidens carries a candle, too. The star boys, who are dressed in white gowns like the handmaidens, carry stars on sticks and have tall paper cones on their heads.

 

Alongside Midsummer, the Lucia celebrations represent one of the foremost cultural traditions in Sweden, with their clear reference to life in the peasant communities of old: darkness and light, cold and warmth.

Lucia is an ancient mythical figure with an abiding role as a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters.

The many Lucia songs all have the same theme:

The night treads heavily
around yards and dwellings
In places unreached by sun,
the shadows brood
Into our dark house she comes,
bearing lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

All Swedes know the standard Lucia song by heart, and everyone can sing it, in or out of tune. On the morning of Lucia Day, the radio plays some rather more expert renderings, by school choirs or the like.

The Lucia celebrations also include gingerbread biscuits and sweet, saffron-flavoured buns (lussekatter) shaped like curled-up cats and with raisin eyes. You eat them with glögg, Swedish mulled wine, or coffee.

Source: Sweden.se Photo: Swedish Chamber of Commerce

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