Around 580 guests attended the annual Lucia celebration on December 13th, in the garden of Swedish Ambassador’s residence in Hanoi; both Swedes living in Vietnam, colleagues from diplomatic missions, international organizations and representatives from Vietnamese ministries were treated to hot mulled wine (the Swedish “glögg”) and saffron buns. The celebration began with a speech by Ambassador Camilla Mellander, followed by a traditional Lucia choir singing the Swedish Lucia songs. Later the younger guests were surprised by Santa Claus and all of the approximately 180 children each received a Christmas gift.
A special event during this year’s celebration was the recognition of the Swedish hero Linnea Niklasson who collected money for the operation of a Vietnamese boy with heart problems. Linnea who herself had the same problem was awarded a special prize by the Ambassador for her work and was congratulated on her award – this year’s Children Hero 2012.
Speech, song and Santa Claus accompanied by homemade hot mulled wine, gingerbread cookies, Swedish meatballs and other favorites from the Swedish Christmas table.