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LUCIA

VIDEO: How Sweden celebrated Lucia in a pandemic

The annual Lucia processions, one of the high points of the Christmas season in Sweden, were cancelled this year. But that didn't stop Swedes finding ways to celebrate.

VIDEO: How Sweden celebrated Lucia in a pandemic
If you missed out on the usual celebrations, catch up with these digital versions. File photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

This year, December 13th, the festival of Saint Lucy or Sankta Lucia, fell on a Sunday. Normally the day is marked with choral concerts and processions of singers in churches, city centres, schools and offices, accompanied with mulled wine or coffee and saffron buns.

Here's how the celebrations were adapted.

Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden's biggest, put on a digital concert, where the singers were carefully socially distanced, as did Lund Cathedral. 

 

Sweden's official website Sweden.se, which is run by the Swedish Institute, the tourism agency Visit Sweden, and the Swedish government live-streamed a performance put on by students at Adolf Frederik's Musikklasser, a renowned Stockholm music school. 

Swedish state news channel SVT broadcast from Jukkasjärvi in Lapland, with a concert interspersed with pre-recorded segments. 

Students at schools across Sweden gave socially distanced Lucia concerts on Friday. Here are the two sets of classes from Adolf Frederik's Musikklasser.

Individual families also found their own socially-distanced ways of celebrating. Here's Sweden's Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, and their children Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel celebrating the third advent weekend without their extended family. 

Photo: Swedish Royal Court

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LUCIA

Stockholm festive events end in watery drama

A Lucia procession on water around central Stockholm ended in emergency rescue on Sunday after two of the craft crashed into each other.

Stockholm festive events end in watery drama
L: emergency services at Skeppsholmsbron, Stockholm; R: participants in the city's Santa Run Stockholm. Photos: Jessica Gow/TT
At least one of the people involved in the incident was taken to hospital with injuries, according to police.
 
A number of passers by were witness to the drama, that took place in the River under the Skeppsholmsbron bridge in central Stockholm around midday. 
 
Several people on board rubber boats and jetskis were taking part in the procession when the accident occurred.
 
Two people ended up in the water near the Skeppsholmsbron bridge and had to be rescued after two of the rubber boats collided. One person received serious leg injuries from a boat propeller and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
 
The St. Lucia celebration traditionally consists of a procession following a young girl wearing a white dress with a wreath or candles in her hair.
 
The procession, a Swedish Christmas tradition usually held on December 13th as well as the advent Sunday closest to it, celebrates St. Lucy, a third-century Christian martyr. 
 
Holiday festivities also saw Stockholm overtaken by a small army of Santas Sunday, as 1500 Father Christmas lookalikes participated in the three-kilometre Santa Run Stockholm, creating Christmassy marathon around starting and finishing points at Kungsträdgården.
 
A previous version of this article stated that the river collision involved two jetskis. This has now been corrected.