Islamabad, 14 December 2022 (TDI): Ambassador of Sweden to Pakistan, Henrik Persson hosted the End of the Year Partners Reception and Lucia celebration at the Sweden Embassy in Islamabad on 13 December 2022.

The embassy celebrated this Swedish tradition of Saint Lucia Day with a candlelit procession, glögg, and saffron buns. Children performed Christmas songs at the End of Year Partners Reception. Christmas celebration at Sweden Embassy featured melodious performances by children and Swedish food.

A popular saying associated with this holiday is:

Lucy Light,
The Shortest day &
The Longest Night.

Friends and Partners of Sweden from different wakes of life participated in the celebration including the Pakistani and Swedish business communities, representatives of Diplomatic Missions in Islamabad, UN Agencies, media, and civil society.

Also Read: Celebrating Sweden’s National Day with green spirit in Pakistan

European Union Ambassador to Pakistan, Riina Kionka, and Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Neil Hawkins also attended the event. In a tweet, EU Ambassador thanked Swedish Embassy in Islamabad for hosting joyful, musical, and culinary Lucia celebrations.

Lucia Celebration

Saint Lucia celebration in Sweden is the annual Candlelit Lucia procession on 13 December. It is one of the most exotic-looking Swedish traditions, where girls and boys clad in white full-length gowns sing songs together. This custom symbolizes light in the dark winter.

Procession of girls led by St. Lucia designee having a crown of candles in a wreath on her head at the occasion of Lucia day celebration organized by Swedish Embassy in Pakistan, Islamabad on the eve of 13 December 2022.

In Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway people celebrate St. Lucia day to commemorate the martyr of Saint Lucia of Syracuse. These celebrations mostly in Scandinavian countries also called the “Festival of Light” and stem from the fourth-century martyrdom of Italian Saint Lucia.

In a ceremony to celebrate St Lucia Day, one girl from the household is elected to portray Lucia. She wears a white gown with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head and walks at the head of a procession of women, each holding a candle. They also sing a special song;

The night treads heavily
around yards and dwellings
In places unreached by sun,
the shadows brood
Into our dark house, she comes,
bearing lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.