House of Sweden Hosts Santa Lucia Festival with Diplomacy

The House of Sweden held its annual Lucia Holiday Celebration to commemorate Lucia Day on December 13.

The ceremony, in which a woman dressed as Lucia is trailed by maidens carrying candles and singing songs, represents light in the dark of winter — on one of the shortest days of the year — as well as help to those who are persecuted.

“Santa Lucia is based on an old story about an Italian Saint… and the reason why she is carrying her candles on her head is because she was trying to help as many as possible and her hands were occupied and so to light her way she had candles on her head,” Karin Olofsdotter, Swedish Ambassador to the United States told those in attendance.


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House of Sweden Santa Lucia Holiday Celebration 2022. Image credit: Kate Michael

“Today she continues to bring the message of peace to us all before Christmas… At this very moment, as we are here tonight, millions of Ukrainians try to endure winter without heat, electricity, or functioning water supplies, being scared for their lives… But I am very heartened by the solidarity for Ukraine that we have witnessed across the world.”

Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter at House of Sweden’s Santa Lucia Holiday Celebration 2022. Image credit: Kate Michael

As guests greeted, enjoyed carols, and nibbled from beautiful tablescapes of edible sweets, Ambassador Olofsdotter reminded all in attendance that the evening was made possible by diplomacy, cooperation, and shared values.

“It’s clear that the values we all cherish, democracy, freedom, and peace are not taken for granted. We have to take good care of them and we have to join hands with others who believe in the same values.”