Thursday, 12 December 2013

FMTSO: What Lights Up My Town in December


The Christmas Tree and Market in the Square.


Light decorations replacing the water in the fountain.


Inside this tent (or goahti) there’s a temporary café serving hot drinks (coffee, tea or ‘glögg’) and perhaps a ginger biscuit or Lucia bun. Inside they have a live fire burning. There are fires outside in the square too, where you can warm your hands for a while:


In the wooden market stalls they sell mostly food stuff or handicraft objects, or lottery tickets.


Roasted almonds here!


On some days there are extra tents put up at the market.


In the streets there are “curtains” of lights hanging between the buildings:


Lucia, or St Lucy’s Day, is celebrated on 13th December. In Sweden, it’s customary for each town to elect a Lucia with a number of maids who spend December going round to various public places, singing traditional Lucia and Christmas songs, and collecting money for  charity. They also visit hospitals and nursing homes etc to bring joy to people who can’t get around much themselves.


My town’s official Lucia crowning ceremony took place on 7th December this year. (By then Lucia and her maids had already been “at work” for a week or two, though.) That ceremony takes place on the terrace on top of the stairs of the town hall/courthouse, at 4 pm when it’s getting dark.

This is the best shot I was able to get with my little camera from below in the crowd:


We also have a more recent tradition of an ice sculpture or sculptures also being hewn on the spot by an ice sculptor that weekend. I was not there to watch it being made this year and I’m not actually sure what it’s supposed to represent. (Since Saturday it’s first been snowing a lot and then thawing a lot, and I’ve not been back to the square this week, so not sure what’s left of the sculptures now!)


Anyway there were also fireworks to celebrate:

CIMG8035  CIMG8036

While waiting for the bus back home, I looked up into a perfectly clear, deep blue sky with a crescent moon, doing its best to compete with all the man-made lights:


Wishing you all a Happy St. Lucy’s Day on 13th December!
~ Monica ~



  1. Wonderful images of your city. The lights are beautiful!

    Mersad Donko Photography

  2. It looks like it was the head f Lucia, see it? Facing left, and with the cap on her head. Maybe you can find out from t.V. or newspaper, or Googling. If you do, let me know if I am right! Everything looks so pretty and cozy, and it lightens up the dark night. I love the curtains of light!!! But a fire inside the tent? How can it keep from burning it down?

    1. It looks a little like a girl's head to me too but I only saw it from the side, not from the front. I've not been able to find a picture of it by googling (I only get pictures of sculptures from earlier years) or on the local paper's website. As for the fire in the tent - or goathi - it's much like an Indian wigwam. I'm sure people lived with a fire in the middle of various kinds of huts for ages before modern day chimneys were invented...

  3. the town street with magical lights and the fountain of lights are tied for number one place in my favorites, but if i were there i would be hanging out by those fires. i love fire...

  4. I like the light/fountain. Thanks for sharing St Lucia's day. It is not celebrated here, but I have read about the celebration. The moon shot was a good idea.

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  6. A fire inside the tent? Must be a bit smoky in there. The ice sculpture does look a bit obscure this year.

    1. No worse than a Lewis Blackhouse, Graham! (I presume) - cf my reply to Ginny.

  7. I didn't even know you had two blogs! What a lovely image of Lucia and her two handmaidens.

    1. I think there were six maids, I just didn't get a good picture with all of them in it.

    2. Katherine, I keep two blogs mainly because I like to use black background sometimes with pictures, but I prefer longer texts to be dark on light background. In this blog I use only my own pictures. In the "main" blog I take more liberties.

  8. Are Lucias usually pretty and cool girls? I will never be chosen. I like that tent, but rather cold in winter.

    How are you? I had been traveling and not posted for a while. Glad ou are still here.

  9. The elections of a Lucia have often tended to turn into beauty contests, yes. The tradition has been that she should be tall, with long, fair hair. (Not really logical considering the original Saint Lucia was Italian!) These days more efforts are put towards equality. Their ability to sing well is now also counted just as (or even more) important than just looks.


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