Friday, December 12, 2014

Winter Days / Lucia

Winter Days [Friday My Town Shoot Out]
How does your town prepare for the coming winter season?
What do your homes look like when the nights are long and days are short?

On 13th December here in Scandiavia we celebrate Lucia (St. Lucy’s Day). In the past (before calendar reforms) this feast coincided with the Winter Solstice, so is a festival of light; and I guess one reason that although the origin is Italian, the day is still celebrated here in Scandinavia because it fits in well with our other Advent/Christmas festivities to brighten up the darkness that otherwise reigns here during the month of December.

Lucia is celebrated both in private and public contexts. In most towns in Sweden, arranged by charity organisations and local newspapers, an official Lucia with a number of maids (often six) is elected at the beginning of December. They then spend 2-3 weeks visiting various public places (like hospitals and nursing homes) singing traditional Lucia songs and Christmas carols.

Borås Lucia 2014 was officially crowned last Saturday. As usual the ceremony took place in the Main Square in front of the Court House – starting at 4 pm, just as the shops close (on Saturdays).

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There are extra market stalls in the square all December.

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16:02
A new decoration this year is a double bow of lights with a mistletoe hanging down in the middle – for anyone feeling in romantic mood…

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Lucia and her six maids stand on the stairs of the Court House and sing. Alas in the dark it is hard to zoom in and get clear photos…

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Lucia

Classic Lucia image by Swedish artist Jenny Nyström
(1854-1946)

Friday My Town Shoot Out

8 comments:

  1. I always look forward to this post each year. And each year it is different. Your pictures are beautiful. the new decoration is wonderful! I imagine it starts at dark so the celebration can counteract the dark, and bring light to the town. I wish I could hear the singing! Your third picture looks like the lights hold the whole town inside!

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  2. This is very atmospheric but where is the ice sculpture? I see plenty of snow heading your way. I hope it gets cold enough for one.
    I fell in love today with the girl that cooks breakfast.....Fat lot of good it will do me.

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    1. I haven't heard anything about an ice sculpture this year, Adrian. We had a long, mild autumn and temperature still hovering around 0, so I suspect they decided to skip it this year.

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  3. I remember you posting about this previously. We do not have this custom here in Germany (at least not in my region; maybe some Bavarian towns will have it), but I like reading about it and looking at the pictures on your blog very much.
    How are the official Lucia and her maids chosen?

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    1. I think they apply and then seven are chosen by some jury (as their main task is singing I suppose ir must be like an audition). Then their pictures are published in the newspaper and the readers can vote who of them should be Lucia. The other six are her maidens.

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  4. your header shot of your town is just gorgeous to me and so festive. i like the lighted bows with the mistletoe. so pretty and your whole town is beautiful as always.

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  5. Always enjoy your blogging about St. Lucia Day. Your town looks so festive, love the new mistletoe lights.

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  6. Borås at night always looks attractive when you photograph it.

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