The triumph of light

December 13 is the festival of St. Lucia (which I have described on this blog before).

Throughout Sweden, choirs of girls and boys dressed in white and bearing candles sing lovely songs about hope and comfort. And for a few moments, we stop and listen to the message they bring.

They sing about bringing light and hope to the darkness of winter;

About warmth and compassion in the heart of coldness.

Lucia is a time of lighting candles and remembering that we are like those candles –

A small thing, but one that can light the flame of another.

And as we give light to another, our own light increases –

Spreading the beauty, no matter how insignificant we are.

It’s about remembering that after the dark, the sun returns –

Just like we do.

(Oh – and it’s also about drinking spiced mulled wine and enjoying saffron buns!)

For more stories, please visit:. My World.

53 thoughts on “The triumph of light

  1. Happy Santa Lucia!
    I recall my first winter in Sweden i 1980, attending a class full of foreigners and I memorized the whole song and sang it, without understanding the words.;) It feels today like another life time…
    Enjoy the glögg and lussekatter.;))


  2. It is truly a beautiful tradition. I love that you celebrate light at the darkest time of year.

    I did make your special buns last year. Must dig out the recipe and make them again.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    PS, not sure if CSN will ship to Sweden, but I will ask them.


  3. Beautiful pictures, thoughts and traditions that have a deep meaning for all of us…I am touched by your words today and the fullness of their truth. Thank you. XX Enjoy the festival and of course the wine! 🙂


  4. So beautiful — I remember the post about St Lucia’s day from last year. A beautiful Holiday tradition.

    One of our young adult Grandsons just returned from a visit to Sweden among other places — he visited a friend in Lund and Stockholm. He mentioned learning glog (?spelling) and saffron buns. One of the highlights for 20 somethings I guess ;>)– (there were more — he had some lovely pictures). We were glad he got to go.


  5. I have learned so much about Lucia today and I love it! As always, Ladyfi, you bring so much beauty into my evening, it is a lovely blessing before I go to sleep as well as to start my day and I am most appreciative! Have a beautiful week!



  6. When I lived in Sweden (Umeå for 5 years!), I really enjoyed St. Lucia, though it’s bit scary to see girls with candles on her head walking and singing a beautiful song.
    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day.


  7. Beautiful pictures ! I completely forgot about Santa Lucia, but it’s celebrated here at the Swedish school which is located in Waterloo !
    Each year we are all invited.


  8. I remember those saffron buns your husband made last year – yummy! All your photos of light are wonderful, Fi, but the small window without the intricate shadows is my favorite.


  9. What a lovely tradition. In India too, we have two festivals celebrating light, both in winter- it is only after reading your post that I can guess at the significance.

    And fantastic photographs, as always.


  10. fIONA!!!!

    Sweden is c ountry full of tradition. It is very nice and the Christmas could be a time to start a very good reflection about the life with and without light.
    God Jul!!!!


  11. thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my blog ~ i have to go thank hillary 🙂 your post made me aware of the POTW, i love your photos, especially the branch covered in frost! i look forward to reading & viewing more when i can sit still and indulge ~ nice to meet you


  12. Hi Lady Fi, You have outdone yourself once again! I remember this beautiful festival from other is a lovely tradition..I would like to celebrate the light too..these dark days are so depressing:)


  13. “Lucia is a time of lighting candles and remembering that we are like those candles –
    A small thing, but one that can light the flame of another.
    And as we give light to another, our own light increases”

    That could easily be describing our Christmas Eve candlelight services, when light is passed from candle to candle until the room is glowing with lit-up faces — all singing “Silent Night.”


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