I went to my first St Lucy day celebration this year! To those who do not know, it is the annual candlelit Swedish celebration on the 13th December. Girls and boys and swedes alike come together to celebrate this day with songs, white dress gowns, saffron buns, and glogg. So let’s get stuck into it. Here are some photos from my first-time experience of this day.
My first Saint Lucy’s Day experience in Sweden
My first thoughts of Saint Lucy’s day was that it was going to be just like every other Christian related day of celebration. Nothing special about this one. I was proven wrong. I went to Oscar’s Church which was a very to the majestic and traditional design. One that I was familiar with being catholic. Prior to this day, I had never heard of st Lucy let alone a day of celebration dedicated to her. After I did my research, I realised I probably did celebrate a very long time ago growing up in Catholic school. The celebration was just as the title said and more. I was pleasantly surprised by how thought out everything was from the beginning of the performance, the setting and the end. So it is understandable why it cost 150 Kronos per ticket to watch this performance in the church. Of course, I wasn’t sure why I had to pay an entry fee to enter a church in the beginning. But later after watching the rest of the show, it all made sense.
Enter Saint Lucy
As the ceremony begun, the church went completely dark. Almost like when the film is about to start. We sat there and waited eagerly anticipating the next thing to come. What was to follow really amazed me. Out of the darkness came a choir of light bearers in single file. One by one they enter into the church which illuminating the darkness. Their voices growing louder filling the hall. Literally, like watching a choir angels floating into the church. It was mesmerising. After they had all came on to the stage there was lots of hymn singing. They began with the classics that you would expect to hear from a church choir. Leading to more contemporary and dynamic hymns. Similar to the operas. They even did their own version of jingle bells with a twist. It was amazing. The best bit was watching the girl who was nominated to act as ‘St Lucy’, make her way down the middle Isle. You could see all the hard work that went into her custom, including the crown of candles around her head and the overall performance. I couldn’t help but wonder how heavy the crown was and what would happen if the wax melted and dropped fell onto her forehead?
The grand finale began with the choir spreading themselves out all over the church surrounding us from the top balcony to the back of the church. Very symbolic of angels rising to heaven. Felt like an ascension scene into heaven, greeted by a choir of angels. Something out of the pages of walk Disney musical. The ending was worth a standing ovation. and just like that, they disappeared silently as they came. I felt I like I just left the theatre. Memories of my childhood going on school trips to watch plays flooded through my head. Reminding me of why I fell in love with stories, writing and why opera and cinematic music always inspired me to write.
It was an epic and inspiring performance. From the beginning to the end I felt I was taken through a story that transcended my surroundings and sent me to another plane filled with singing angels and light. Bravo. Bravo, indeed.
To read more about my experience in Sweden, click here