MAJORCA'S Swedish community celebrated Santa Lucia across the island yesterday before the traditional procession through Plaza Cort in Palma last night for the 25th year.
From the Swedish School to the Hilton Hotel Sa Torre, Swedish children of all ages helped celebrate the Feast of St Lucia which marks the start of the Christmas season.
The festival of Santa Lucia traditionally begins before dawn, December 13, which under the old Julian calendar (used in Sweden before 1753) was Christmas Day and the longest night of the year. Throughout Sweden, the eldest daughter in each household comes to her sleeping parents, dressed in a long white gown tied with a red sash, and wearing a crown of lingonberry leaves in which are set seven lighted candies. In her hands she carries a tray of steaming hot coffee and Lussekattor (Lucia Runs). The procession includes her sisters and brothers also dressed in white, holding lighted candles, and singing of the light and joy of Christmas.
The sisters of the Lucia Bride wear a wreath of tinsel in their hair and a piece tied around their waist, while the boys have tall pointed caps sprinkled with stars.
Awakened by the lights and the singing, the parents arise and eat the breakfast served, thus ushering in the Christmas season.