Saint Lucy/Lucia of Syracuse

During the winter months, it gets dark and cold in Scandinavia – very dark and very, very, cold. To combat the darkness and coldness of winter, Scandinavians have for long used two measures now indispensable from Christmas in all of the Scandinavian countries; Glögg and the Lucia. Whereas Glögg, hot red wine with spices and raisins (in which port and Scandinavian snaps is added after need…) takes care of the cold, the Lucia takes care of the darkness.

The Lucia is a Scandinavian Christmas tradition going back many years that commemorates Saint Lucy/Lucia of Syracuse. Traditionally, friends and families come together to warm each other by the candles and fireplace and witness the ‘Luciatåg’; a procession of a group of people in white clothes with candles in their hands led by the Lucia bride, symbolising Saint Lucia, who wears a crown of candles.

This year, the Cambridge University Scandinavian Society held its annual ‘Glöggfest’ with the traditional Lucia procession at Westcott House, which, with its lovely architecture, vibe and cloisters provided the ideal setting for this Scandinavian celebration of light and good company in the dark and cold winter months. Staring at the library, the ‘Luciatåg’ walked through the cloisters and ended by the Common Room where the rest of the society joined in the singing, filling the air with not just light, but song as well. Afterwards the evening continued with more traditional Scandinavian Christmas carols, Glögg, and as the surroundings would have it; the night ended with theological discussions as the candles from the Luciatåg burned out.

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