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Photographer's Note

8.14 am ... The sun is rising over Stockholm, but almost all the Swedes waken up really early !

Many went to church at 7.00. In the houses, at schools in the streets or at work, they were all preparing this special day, for 3 weeks already.

That's because this monday morning is the most important day of the year. We are the 13th of december, Santa Lucia day, Queen of Lights. This is to celebrate the come back of the light after a dark november and december. From now on, the days will be longuer and longuer (almost). To symbolise the need of that light a lot of candles were put on so many windows those last weeks. Here we can see them.

Santa Lucia has both religious and pagaian origins, but she's everywhere. She will be the one that will waken everyone in the houses, with some safran cakes, ginger biscuits and traditionnal glögg, a hot cooked wine with a lot of species, russins and almonds. In the schools, the girls will have silent fights and every one of them hopes to be elected as the one and only one Lucia. In companies as well there will be a Lucia. Everywhere. Requested skill: singing.

Because Lucia will have to sing. A lot. She, and her "crew" or fellows, the Luciatåg, will walk on slow processions, holding candles and singing traditional songs. Lucia is wearing white, whith a red belt to simbolize blood, because according to the religion she was a virgin.

In every church, and many many schools, a Luciatåg was organized that morning. And, at night, every church will offer something, who a singing concert, who a play on Lucia's life...

Every city elects its own Lucia, and in Stockholm the competition is quite tough ! This year, the Stockholm's Lucia was crowned in front of hundreds of people by the Minister of Culture, and a delegation from the Italian Embassy. Why that ? Because Lucia was a tradition imported from Sicily, Syracuse to be exact. In the afternoon, the main procession of Stockholm's Lucia will start from the center of the city, in front of several thousands people !

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I took this picture just after attending the Lucia ceremonial that was held at my school, KTH. There is a small tower (on the right on this picture) that was used for radio broadcasting and offers this nice view over the city !

I just increased slightly the contrast, and then of course cropped and added a frame to emphasize the colours.

amine, carmem_busko, ChristianS has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Youssef Chraibi (Coyotyto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 365 W: 79 N: 251] (1305)
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