St. Lucia festival lights up the streets

Whether you’re Swedish or not, your family will enjoy the chance to experience the holidays like they do in Sweden at the St. Lucia Festival of Lights on Dec. 13. Kicking off at 4:45 p.m. at the Swedish American Museum and proceeding down Clark Street, the procession features"Lucia Girls” who will lead the crowd wearing long white robes and crowns of real candles. Children and adults are welcome to join the torch-lit parade.

Afterwards the festivities continue at the museum with a telling of the Lucia legend, a community Christmas carol sing-along and Swedish holiday treats.

The festival celebrates the life of St. Lucia, an Italian saint who was known for her generosity in feeding the poor and homeless. She was executed at the age of 20 during the Roman’s persecution of Christians. The Swedes’ affection for the Lucia festival is due partly to timing—Lucia festivals provide a ray of light during the winter solstice, the darkest time of the year in Sweden.

The Swedish American Museum is located at 5211 N. Clark St. in Chicago. Admission to the museum’s festivities after the parade is $1 or a can of food to benefit the needy. For more information call (773) 728-2995 or visit the Web site at

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