A day in the life

By Shelling


All over Sweden we're celebrating this saint from Syracusa in Cicily, Italy. She was called Lucia, according to the legend and was said to have ripped her eyes out to send them to her beloved. Before christianity in Sweden we had important pagan celebrations in order to make the light come back this time of year and when Sweden was christened our old pagan tradition was swapped by the church for their catholic saint Lucia. (short version)

I happened to be in Kalmar at lunchtime and got to see and hear the lovely singing by the Lucia-choir from my old workplace, Högalid. It's traditional for school choirs to dress up in white and sing a mixture of hymns about the saint Lucia mixed with a muddle of supposed pagan songs about the light coming back and also some complete nonsense songs from early 1900. 

The tradition of singing publicly like this in shopping malls, old peoples homes and schools is much loved and no one really thinks about any of the deeper meaning but like the singing and the idea about bringing light in a dark time. Most Swedes look forward to this date, which mark the turn of the year and forebodes Christmas, or Yule, another great muddle of traditions. But most of all we celebrate the light slowly coming back.

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