Last week in Paris was rather Swedish with the visit of the Royal couple (see preceding post), although news media would certainly pay higher attention to a British, U.S…. state visit. To end the week, there was another event, which actually takes place every year - the celebration of “Sankta Lucia”, Saint Lucy. Logically it should be celebrated December 13, but there was an early start this year, December 5. Normally there would be a reception at the Swedish Embassy, but, as it's under restoration, this year there was a more open invitation to the Sainte Clotilde Basilica.
The singing is performed by young girls (and a few boys) from the Swedish School and the Swedish Church. They will perform several more times, including in the Swedish Church on the correct date, December 13.
Before talking about the concert, just a few pictures of the Sainte Clotilde Basilica, a neo-gothic church from the 19th century, in the 7th arrondissement, close to the Parliament, some ministries and embassies.
The church was more than full, there was a short welcome speech by the newly appointed Ambassador, Veronika Wand-Danielsson… and then arrived Saint Lucy.
After the singing we were all invited to a glass of “glögg” (hot mulled wine) and some “pepparkakor” (ginger snaps). We were quite a crowd.
I wrote about the Saint Lucy singing already five years ago (here) – with a link to YouTube if you would like to hear the Saint Lucy song - and there I also said a few words about the history behind this celebration and why it takes place December 13 rather than December 21, considering that the meaning is to bring light to the shortest day. (The reason is the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar during the 16th century.)