Swedish Lucia celebrations are spread throughout the world

All of those who study Swedish at a university abroad will learn a lot about Swedish holidays and traditions. The Lucia celebration is the tradition that is most popular with the students.

Already in November, students start practising Lucia songs. Singing is also an excellent and fun way to learn Swedish. You practise pronunciation and learn new words and phrases.

Swedish teacher Anna Bokedal, who works at the University of Aberdeen, and her students celebrate Lucia with a traditional performance. – Ettorna, that is, the students who started studying Swedish in the autumn, only know that they will have a “cultural tutorial” and that they should bring a pair of scissors to the class. Then it turns out that the second year students come and sing for them as a surprise. Afterwards we dance and make Swedish Christmas decorations says Anna Bokedal.

This time of the year, Swedish students are often asked to sing at Swedish companies, organisations and embassies abroad. In Aberdeen, the Nordic Student Association usually borrows the institution’s Lucia outfits to perform for the public after the Lucia celebration at the institution.

– I think it’s so nice that even those students who would never really do something like this – neither sing nor perform – suddenly volunteer themselves to sing solo or perform a duet, alternatively play an instrument or read a poem. Under cover from the darkness and from the white Lucia gowns you dare so much more than you would otherwise do, Anna continues.

Many Swedish teachers also bake Lussebullar, traditional Christmas buns, and gingerbread together with their students.

– Traditional dance games also work well, Anna adds. The students are completely unprepared, but often learn the lyrics in no time. Braiding paper hearts is a little tricky, but maybe because of that, everybody gets involved. Often we sit on the floor making crafts, and the atmosphere becomes really friendly and cosy.

Watch SI’s movie with clips from various Lucia celebrations around the world.