Swedish Christmas is celebrated at San Diego’s annual December Nights at Balboa Park, a park site which is one of the oldest in the United States dedicated to public recreational use. December Nights, a 2 night holiday festival attracts 350,000 visitors. SWEA (Swedish Women’s Educational Association) of San Diego hosts the event which includes traditional Swedish foods such as meatballs, Swedish baked goods like chocolate balls, a glögg bar, Swedish gifts and crafts, a fish pond and the Lucia procession. The park has many multicultural events during this festival but the Swedish festivities is among the most well-liked. I have participated in the train since age 5 and this year was my turn and honor to be the Lucia. While still in Sweden I attended rehearsals via Face-time and was present for a final rehearsal before the procession which took place December 6th and 7th. Live candles are lit on the Lucia’s crown and classic Swedish Christmas songs are sung such as “Gläns över sjö och strand”, “Nu tändas tusen juleljus” and “Nu har vi ljus här i vårt hus” to name a few. The procession is about 25 minutes and the audience enjoys the songs and the last song is Silent Night in English where all audience members join in and sing because the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. The Lucia procession is a very beautiful tradition that many in San Diego come to enjoy every year.
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