Lucia celebrations in London

Lucia is a wonderful tradition that spreads warmth and light in the cold winter darkness. Early in the morning of December 13ththe Lucia procession enters the home singing well-known songs, the most loved of them is the one called Santa Lucia.

The name Lucia comes from the Italian saint, Lucia who was martyred in the 4th century. But its origins are actually more to do with a mixture of pagan and Christian traditions. In ancient times the 13th of December used to be considered a dangerous night when supranatural powers were at play. Even the animals were supposedly talking during the Lucia night.

It is wonderful that we see an increased interest in Lucia in Britain and we now have Lucia celebrations in Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh and Liverpool.

This year we had the opportunity to celebrate Lucia twice at the Swedish residence. We were very grateful to the Swedish church choir as well as to the choir from Stockholm’s Musikgymnasium/ Kungsholmens gymnasium. The Kungsholmen choir also performed at FCO, St Pancras and at Trafalgar Square. The Lucia celebrations at St Pauls Cathedral were beautiful and I was very pleased to have an opportunity to thank the very large Swedish community for their great support during my time as ambassador in this country.

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