Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar! Join me every day in opening a new door. Just like last year, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back, relax and enjoy!
Okay, so there are no prizes for guessing what I’m writing about today… 13 December means one thing and one thing only. Santa Lucia! A candlelight, singing procession – just before the sun comes up or goes down – on St. Lucia Day, the 13th of December. Lead by the Lucia-brud (‘Lucia bride’) – she’s the girl with the crown of candles in her hair – her followers wearing long white robes and bearing candles. A tradition stolen from Denmark’s neighbours - the Swedes.
Here we were at school last year. At 8.15am when it was still pitch black outside…
The procession went up and down the corridors. Ground floor, first floor, second floor. With pupils, staff and parents lined up to watch all the way. At 8.24am (see the clock!) the girls passed through the school library…
…and came up to the third floor of the school. Just as daylight finally came.
And, no – your eyes do not deceive you... The girls carry real, lighted candles. And the staff – selvfølgelig- take plenty of precautions. One of the girls got her hair just a bit too close to the flame and her hair singed very slightly. But the teachers were on hand immediately and nothing worse happened. All in a day’s work for a Danish teacher! The Lucia girls thought it was exciting and have a story to tell. And I’m glad to live in a country where they don’t use fear mongering and ban lighted candles - but instead carry on the tradition, use their common sense and teach the kids respect for open flames. Hooray for those crazy Danes!
If you want to hear the Lucia song, and get a real feeling of what it's like to watch the small kids go by, here's a cute little video from a Danish school. Not a dry Mum's eye in the house, I'm sure! :)
But, hey, do be careful with those candles out there. And don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!