Sankta Lucia

Every year in Denmark, on December 13th, you may see a procession of girls dressed in white, holding candles. They are always led by the Lucia Queen, whose main attribute is a crown made of candles. This is the tradition of Saint Lucia Day, which is celebrated in kindergartens, schools, churches and clubs all over the country. 

Saint Lucia was a 3rd century Christian martyr from Italy whose name means light. One of the numerous legends about Saint Lucia says she used to feed the poor during the Lent that started precisely on December 13. She had to carry candles on her head as she needed both of her hands to feed the hungry. 

The celebration was adopted from Sweden, where Saint Lucia Day is a big event that has been celebrated since 1927. Denmark introduced Saint Lucia Day in 1944 during the Second World War, to bring light and hope during a dark time.

Lucia in Kayak

One of the more alternative/interesting Lucia processions is actually on the water! As soon as the night gloom sets in, hundreds of brightly-lighted kayaks appear on the surface of the Nyhavn canal in Copenhagen.

Kayakers, typically wearing Santa's hats, float peacefully along the waterway chanting about Saint Lucia.

For more information about this event, follow this link, where you will also find the entire programme for this years' Lucia in Kayak.

©Thomas Rousing