ALL THE SPLENDOR and tradition of Santa Lucia was celebrated Friday night at the House of Sweden at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. The Swedish ambassador Jonas Hafstr?m and his wife Eva invited guests for gl?gg and traditional Swedish Christmas food. Guests feasted on such tasty items as herring on kn?kebr?d, smoked salmon on dark bread, meatballs and prinskorv (sausages) with senap (Swedish mustard).
OF COURSE, the highlight of the evening was the Lucia procession with the Santa Lucia, the beautiful young woman dressed in white with a wreath of candles on her head, along with a troup of t?nor, other young women and girls also in white, and stj?ngossar, young men and boys in white wearing long, white pointy hats (that look like what Americans would call a dunce cap) and carrying wands with a star at the end.
THE t?nor and stj?ngossar sang traditional Swedish Christmas songs, and Swedish tenor Mats Carlsson joined them to sing a few solos of favorites such as “Oh Holy Night” and “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” The popular Steven Brodd, who plays the organ at Swedish Church once a month at Augustana Lutheran Church, accompanied the songfest.
Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstr?m and his wife Eva Hafstr?m
Swedish tenor Mats Carlsson (left) and part of the Lucia procession
Margareta Paul, Margareta Storm and Birgitta Hay
George Blake, head of Securitas security at the House of Sweden, and Cecilia Browning, operations manager of the House of Sweden
Pianist Steven Brodd
The Lucia procession singing Christmas songs from the stairs.