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Sankta Lucia: Festival of Light

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An atmospheric, candlelit procession and carol service for all the family based on the traditional Swedish Lucia celebration.

In Sweden, Lucia is one of the most significant traditions in the calendar – a powerful symbol and celebration of light and an integral part of the Advent season. The celebration of Sankta Lucia is based on the bravery and martyrdom of a young Sicilian girl – St Lucy – who died in the early fourth century. Her name and story reached Sweden along with Christianity, and she remained popular even after the Reformation as the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter.

This year’s service will feature the London Nordic Choir, who will form the procession which enters the cathedral’s Nave singing the traditional Lucia song. The singers are dressed in white gowns and carry candles, with Lucia herself as the focal point, wearing a crown of candles and a red ribbon around her waist, symbolising her martyrdom.

The service is run in partnership with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.

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