Today’s cultural exchange: Swedish Lucia in London


The Guardian published an article last month on the trendiness of Scandinavian Christmases.

One of the big traditions is the Lucia procession taking place on the 13th of December every year. It’s a tradition dating back to when the 13th of December was the longest day of the year.

Although it is a celebration named after the Christian Saint Lucy, who was a Sicilian girl burned alive in Ancient Rome, it has its root in Nordic folklore tradition. According to popular belief it was a dangerous night with supernatural forces in power and talking animals.

Today however, its mostly schools and day nurseries who keep the tradition alive. The precession is lead by the “Lucia” wearing a crown of candles in her hair, followed by boys and girls in white gowns. Alternatively boys (and girls) can also be dressed up as gingerbread men and little brownies (read Santa’s helpers, not chocolate cookies).

In London the Swedish Church arranges the celebrations on various dates, due to the popularity with Swedish ex-pats. Dates include 11/12, 13/12 and 15/12.

Please click here for more info.


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