Advent Calendar 2017: Dec 13th - Glad Luciadag!
Dec 13th – Luciadagen
Happy Luciadagen and Happy Hanukkah! Both are festivals of lights. Cheers.
Friends, today did not go as planned. I have been looking forward to Luciadagen for weeks. We used to enjoy the Swedish School production in Portland and it is my name day, after all! I’ve always loved the tradition and was really looking forward to our first Swedish Lucia.
I looked and looked for the right event. There are so many celebrations of Lucia that I was stunned just trying to choose. It’s like being in a new mega-store looking for an item where you have 20 choices but none of them looks quite right. There are a lot of concerts with amazing musicians. They are lovely and pricey. There are ones aimed at kids… over 6, and a few for kids under. Many, again, pricey, and surprisingly late at night, for us anyway. There are few out of town that are more home-grown, but our car is blocked in by snow and the walking paths at least are very icy. I’m sure the roads are better, but I wasn’t very interested in driving if I didn’t have to. Eventually I found what was going to be an adorable young children’s Lucia celebration, early in the day, for free, and report back. There was going to be a girl with a crown of candles on her head (probably just LED lights for the little girls) and a train of other girls with candles, star boys, tiny kids with gingerbread people outfits. It was going to be adorable and followed by a fika with luciakatter, saffron “flavored” (colored) buns with raisins.
But we were up past 4am with chicken-poxed Freja and I hadn’t found this perfect Lucia for younger kids until mid-morning. We paid a subway fare before I figured out that the address I had pulled up was for the church’s head office and not the church we were supposed to go to, which was not a straight shot on the “T” like the head office had been, and we were going to be more than 30 minutes late for a one-hour production. Ugh.
So Felix and I had a fika of our own. He elected for a chocolate cookie instead of Luciakatter and I had a dirty chai with oat milk. Oat milk is a popular not-milk here. It works pretty well.
We played out in the snow for a while and then went home.
I tried AGAIN in the evening to find even a Lucia procession, but all of the concerts were fully booked and I couldn’t find any outdoor (ie, no ticket required) processions. So, I wandered around central Stockholm, back through Gamla Stan and took the subway home. Not much was going on, most places were closed except the diner spots. The best highlights - a running club dressed in Lucia garb and a moped/motorcycle club riding through Gamla Stan dressed at Santas with their bikes all lit up. Those were fun.
This day falls in the category of “one day I’ll know how this all works and plan accordingly.” Today was a learning opportunity. Today I missed my people and the familiarity of a city I know. Even though I was able to wander between two parts of town with a dead phone and no map without getting lost. That was a small win. Even then, there was so much disappointment.
Cora saved my day, as she often does. While I kvetched and futzed with my phone, she warmed some glögg, lit some candles, set out some chocolates and turned off the light. Sigh. It was a perfect celebration of lights. Thanks, love.