Today, on December 13th, all over Sweden, there are annual candlelight processions. The children are dressed in white gowns, with red sashes, and a wreath of candles is placed upon their heads. There is a special song that is sung, amongst other ones. The idea behind this mythical character is that she has the role of bearing light in the long, cold, dark, winters. As we are learning fast here in Sweden, there is also another type of bun/cake to go with this celebration. They are called lussekatter, and are made with saffron, so have a peculiar flavour to them, but are very tasty. On offer is also the pepparkakor (small thin ginger biscuits), all swallowed down with yet more glögg! Our trio got to experience all this at their various schools today as well. Our little lady’s year 5’s (11 and 12 year olds) did the procession and singing for the rest of the school. The St.Lucia had a wreath of real candles on her head, and the procession of children around her were all bearing a real candle too 🙂 If we ever move back to the UK, we are going to be a health and safety nightmare as life here seems to exist very happily without such interference all the time! We are much preferring it, but it still gets a bit of getting used to seeing 11 year old girls, hair flowing with a wreath of candles on their heads!! Our mini men sang St.Lucia related songs to the smaller children in the förskola. All three ate lussekatter, pepparkakor, and drank some Julmust (a Swedish Christmas soft drink that is VERY sweet!). Once they returned home, I had bought freshly baked lussekatter to try with them for our fika in the afternoon. So, today we have all learnt a little more about Swedish culture and experienced another tradition. Even Dadda got to be part of it, with children going into his work place dressed up and singing.
After school we traipsed off into the woods to collect pine cones as supplies for our festive activity of the day. We were going to take them home, dry them out, and make decorations out of them. Their haul was put on the table with paints, brushes, glitter, and festive shaped sequins (snowflakes, angels, fairies, and stars). I then stood back and tried to keep my mouth shut and sit on my hands while the house was liberally glitterised!! I like to give them a free reign as much as possible with their creations, but my OCD part can just see all the clearing up that will be required (especially with all three getting creative with the stuff), and I need to work hard at not intervening or commenting to do things the neat, tidy, and grown up way!! They, as predicted where glitter is involved, had a lovely hour decorating their pine cones. They are currently drying, and then tomorrow we will attach the necessary bits to make them into things like tree decorations (they each have a small tree in their rooms they decorate), or glittery cone mobiles etc.