Santa Lucia procession and celebration in Dyker Heights shine light on Scandinavian tradition

‘Tis the season to celebrate tradition.

A celebrated custom in Bay Ridge, the annual Santa Lucia Procession and Celebration – presented by The Ridge Creative Center and the Scandinavian East Coast Museum – went off without a hitch on Friday, December 16 and even saw some new, bright and shining faces participating in the annual show.

“It was nice because it was a new group of kids,” explained Victoria Hofmo, founder of the Ridge Creative Center and president of the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, of the annual tradition which sees children perform Christmas songs. “We had a great turn out, a bunch of families came out and we had some people from the community. I just think it’s one of the nicest celebrations for this time of year. It’s beautiful and we’re very grateful for Redeemer St. John’s for letting us use their sanctuary to do the Santa Lucia, it’s such a nice environment in there.”

The tradition originated in Sweden where, on the shortest day of the year, children robed in white and carrying candles would form a procession and bring treats — special saffron-flavored buns are popular, as are ginger cookies — to those they visited, creating a festival of light in the depths of winter.

The event was held at Redeemer St. John’s Church (939 83rd Street) and featured an evening full of Scandinavian traditions, including the making of Scandinavian cookies and a craft activity.

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