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Glad Lucia!

Glad Lucia! Or in English, happy St Lucy's day!

Today is St Lucy's day and she is as usually celebrated all over Sweden and the neighbouring countries with singing and candles. A bit odd when you think about it, that an italian saint is celebrated in a mostly Lutheran part of Europe. And as usual it is probably a mixture of pre-christian traditions mixed with christian traditions that survived the reformation. In the Julian calendar, the 13th was the winter solstice and the darkest day of the year, so Lucia is a celebration of light. The tradition is old, but it was revived in the 19th century and gained a lot of popularity. It has even spread to other countries.

This year, everything has been done a bit different for obvious reasons. But the great thing about that is that you can take part in the celebration no matter where you are in the world. SVT, the public service broadcaster, has as always broadcast their Luciamorgon (Lucia morning) which you should be able to to watch no matter where you are in the world: https://www.svtplay.se/video/29267198/luciamorgon-fran-jukkasjarvi It is usually not that strictly traditional, but rather a mix of old and new, traditional songs and more modern songs. This year it is recorded in Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden.

But many choirs who can't do their traditional performances are doing them online so there are many available for those who are interested in Swedish traditions, or just want a bit of light in the darkness.

Malmö: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFZWClw6THs
Adolf Fredrik's music school: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwBJa5l-jSs
Helsingborg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko3n3AJn22o
Uppsala Cathedral's childrens choirs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AaS4JUFcTU
Skansen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbXhPjrJx58 (with english subtitles)

Posted by
25598 posts

Thanks for the thread, Badger. I've just wished my cousin Lucy, Happy St Lucy Day.

Shall we all have a rousing round of "Santa Lucia"? I'll start...

Posted by
7535 posts

Thank you Badger. Lucia=luz=light.

Posted by
12151 posts

Thank you! It is beautiful. I highly recommend watching and listening.

Posted by
4579 posts

Thanks for the link, Badger. That was beautiful. We are in the midst - right now - of an incredible snowfall - soft and fluffy, about 6" at this point. Listening to that amazing choir was perfect.

Posted by
1613 posts

These links and the info are great, Badger -thanks!
This is the kind of local practice that brings places alive; so much better than generic generalizations about Christmas.

Posted by
6412 posts

Thanks for these wonderful suggestions, Badger. I have got some days off coming up — and as Paris museums and cafes aren’t an option, I can take the time to enjoy some of these Swedish services. (Even though I won’t have the wonderful fluffy snow that Jane has mentioned back home — family and friends have been posting photos all day.)

Thank you again, Badger!

Posted by
3338 posts

We moved to Northern Minnesota for a few years in 2000. Our church there was originally founded by Swedish immigrants. It was such a delight to discover that St. Lucia celebration was part of the tradition there. Even more delightful was when some of the older members of the church broke out singing Christmas Carols in Swedish!

Posted by
2101 posts

We are in the midst - right now - of an incredible snowfall

Sounds lovely! We've unfortunately had very little snow so far this winter.

We moved to Northern Minnesota for a few years in 2000. Our church
there was originally founded by Swedish immigrants. It was such a
delight to discover that St. Lucia celebration was part of the
tradition there.

Thank you for telling that story! Do you now how old the Lucia tradition was at that church? If the Swedish emigrants brought it with them or if it was introduced later?

Posted by
4537 posts

Badger, Thanks for all the links. I hope you’ve eaten some lussekatter this season.