December 13 is Lucia Day in Sweden, a day of candlelit processions and music. To bring Swedish traditions to Shanghai the Consulate General of Sweden in Shanghai is organizing a public Lucia celebration together with Swedish and local partners. To be convenient for the public, the event is held on December 11 .
Lucia is perhaps one of the most exotic Swedish customs; with a candlelit procession of girls and boys clad in white full‐length gowns singing songs together. In front is the Lucia, a girl wearing a crown of candles on her head. It is common for schools, companies, towns and cities in Sweden to have their own Lucia celebrations. Candidates for larger local events – such as for towns and cities – are presented in the newspapers before choosing the final Lucia a couple of weeks in advance. There is also a national celebration, with a national Lucia, which is broadcasted on national TV on the 13th.
The tradition of celebrating Lucia dates back to the Middle Ages, and was originally a held in the memory of Saint Lucia of Syracuse. Alongside Midsummer, the Lucia celebrations represent one of the foremost cultural traditions in Sweden, with their clear reference to life in the peasant communities of old: darkness and light, cold and warmth. It is a celebration of light in the middle of the dark Nordic winter.
The Lucia celebration in Shanghai 2016, however, will take place on Sunday 11th of December in Shanghai Centre. There will be a Lucia procession with songs by the Swedish Choir, children from the Swedish school and Chinese students of the Swedish language at a local university. IKEA, sponsoring the event, will be providing a special ”Luciafika” – a traditional Swedish Christmas refreshment break, including saffron buns (Lussekatter), gingerbread cookies and mulled wine (glögg).
Time: Sunday, December 11, 2016, 16:30 – 18:00
Venue: Shanghai Centre, 1/F, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xikang Lu.