Sweden's S. Lucia brightens up Piazza di Pietra on 11 December at 19.30
For the fourth consecutive year the Swedish embassy is bringing S. Lucia and her choir to Rome to share one their highest valued traditions with the Roman public.
“This year the choir from Nordiskt musikgymnasium (upper grade school of music) in Stockholm consists of 12 young music and song students who will perform some of our most well known Swedish traditional Christmas songs, carols and hymns” tells Ann-Louice Dahlgren, cultural officer at the Swedish embassy.
“S. Lucia and her attendants will enter the piazza with candles, crowns of lingonberry garland in their hair while the audience enjoy tasting some Swedish Christmas treats like glögg (mulled wine) and ginger bread biscuits. The S. Lucia celebration is the Swedish embassy “Christmas gift” to the roman citizens.”
A growing crowd have turned up every year for the treat.
It is a real joy to see families, children, elderly people, youngsters – an audience of all categories – meet up for what now has become a well known tradition in Rome” says Dahlgren.
So how come people on the other side of the European continent have so deeply rooted traditions connected to an Italian saint?
“S. Lucia is an Italian saint, born in Syracuse in Sicily and buried in Venice. But it is in the far-north country of Sweden that she is most intensively celebrated – because she brings light and warmth to our cold winter nights” explains the ambassador of Sweden, Ruth Jacoby.
“Taking the Swedish S. Lucia celebration to Rome is about reuniting two stories and traditions that have a common history. We want to give the citizens of Rome the opportunity to get to know our Swedish S. Lucia and what this Italian saint has come to symbolise for us: peace, warmth, light, joy, serenity, harmony and the advent of Christmas,” says Ambassador Jacob.