Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Inger Ultvedt
The Swedish Embassy recently treated friends, guests and partners to songs and dance to commemorate the traditional Swedish Lucia Day 2016. The event was held at Quintessence Limited, Ikoyi, Lagos.
During her opening speech, Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Inger Ultvedt, briefly explained the importance of Saint Lucia Day, saying, “Saint Lucia has been celebrated for over 100 years in Sweden. Lucia is actually known as the ‘Queen of Light’ because this time of the year is very dark and not until December 22 does it turn and become lighter.”
Saint Lucia Day is one of Sweden’s biggest annual celebrations in memory of the ancient, mythical figure, Lucia, who is historically known as the bearer of light and hope in the dark days of winter.
Continuing, Ultvedt, said, “Saint Lucia is represented as a lady in a white dress and red sash with a crown or wreath of candles on her head. In Norway, Sweden and Swedish-speaking regions of Finland, girls dressed as Lucy carry rolls and cookies in procession as songs are sung. Boys participate in the procession as well, playing different roles associated with Christmas. It is said that to vividly celebrate Saint Lucy’s Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light.
“Saint Lucia Day is today celebrated in every town in Sweden and the Swedish-speaking parts of Finland, all Swedish embassies, including the Nairobi Embassy and in every Swedish school around the globe.”
A special guest, Katarina De Brisis, came all the way from Sweden to grace the evening with her song rendition. She sang ‘God afton’ (good evening), ‘Sa Morkar Natten’ (the night is dark) and ‘staffan.’ Also present to perform was Adiitu dance troupe, which thrilled guests present with its mind-blowing dance skills as they performed the popular Yoruba bata dance.
Also to mark Lucia celebration, popular Swedish dishes and drinks were served to entertain guests. Some of the food served were Lussekatter (St. Lucia Saffron Buns), Saint Lucia sweet bread, pepparkakor (traditional Swedish ginger cookies), and Swedish Glogg (flaming mulled wine).