Lucia in the Mile High Club


After so many years in Sweden, I thought I’d seen every type of Lucia celebration there is to see. But, no, this week I experienced something completely new.

Santa Lucia is the saint who wakes Swedes up early in the morning of Dec 13th with candles in her hair. A tranquil tradition, Lucia literally brings the light to the dark country of Sweden.

This December 13th, I was flying back from New York. I, like all the other passengers, was dozing off in my chair when the sun started to slowly peek above the horizon. Then, slowly in the distance I started to hear quiet singing – Santa Lucia’s song. The singing got louder and I opened my eyes. And there she was, Lucia, walking the aisles with her maidens and disciples. All were carrying lights and lightening up the dimness of the cabin.

The cabin crew had dressed in the traditional white robes, and brought Lucia to the sleepy continental travellers, somewhere over the North Sea. Afterwards, they performed ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ and served the traditional ginger bisucuits and saffron buns.

Of all the Lucia celebrations I have seen, this has to be one of the most memorable.

Lucia is about lightening up the dark. This one was also about lightening our weary spirits.

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