It started more than two weeks before the celebration of Santa Lucia (or Saint Lucy in english). It popped up in all social media newsfeeds, both Swedish, Spanish and British ones – “The yearly Santa Lucia celebration by the children from the Palmas Swedish school is coming up and is being held in Palma´s great Cathedral La Seu”. During the last week before the celebration, local news papers joined in as well. Ultima Hora (the largest paper on the Balearic Islands) had the news on the front page as well a full page inside. The largest english speaking paper, The Mallorca Daily Bulletin, had one as well. What the…?
What or who is Santa Lucia?
Sorry about the short introduction to all of you folks outside the Nordics! Lucia of Syracuse is a Catholic Saint who lived during the years 283-304. I won’t bore you with too many details, but she’s one of only 8 female saints within the catholic religion. She was of course tortured (eyes gauged out) and killed for her beliefs and afterwards proclaimed martyr and saint by the Catholic church.
Santa Lucia is celebrated on the 13:th of December mainly in the nordic countries and some places in Italy. In the nordic she walks with a candle in her hands to show us the way during the dark and cold winter months. On her hair a crown of light and a red sash around the waist that symbolises her martyrdom. The celebration is most often performed by kids and lots of traditional christmas songs is sung. This is traditional starting point for Christmas celebrations.
A funny side note – Sweden is a protestant country, it is highly unclear (for me) why we celebrate a Christian saint from Italy.
This is a Swedish tradition, we want to know about Spain silly
Yes, of course, sorry about that. But if you are coming to to live on Mallorca you will learn that this is actually quite a big event here, and is of interest to a lot of people outside of the Swedish expat community. See the local papers publications above. The Swedish school in Palma has being doing these Lucia celebrations for more than 50 years, a lot of the time in public spaces such as the Palma main square, Placa de Cort. After 50 years the celebration is so well known and appreciated among the locals that the they get invited to celebrate Lucia in heart of Palma, the La Sue Cathedral. Palma and its population has now adopted the Swedish Lucia Celebration and is part of a local tradition.
A spectacular evening! The Cathedral was filled to its limits with 3500 people, unfortunately a lot of people was left outside because of capacity limits. The 140 children from the Swedish school sang 19 songs in Swedish, Spanish, English and Catalan. Fascinating seeing those small Swedish 6-years olds singing in so many different languages. A summary video of the night below by the local news.
Wish you all a very good Christmas / feliz navidad / god jul folks!
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