Vendela Mannberg, centre, portrays Santa Lucia during this year's celebrations. | T. Ayuga


Yesterday one hundred and forty pupils from the Swedish school in Palma rehearsed for their big Santa Lucia concert at Palma Cathedral.

Santa Lucia is a Christian feast day celebrated on 13 December, commemorating Saint Lucy, a 3rd-century martyr, who according to legend brought "food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs" using a candle-lit wreath to "light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible".

During the celebrations Santa Lucia is represented by a young lady in a white dress (a symbol of a Christian's white baptismal robe) and red sash (symbolizing the blood of her martyrdom) with a crown or wreath of candles on her head.

Vendela Mannberg, a 9th year student and 15 years old, has been chosen to portray Santa Lucia this year.

The big event takes place at 8p.m. on Friday.