In the darkest days of winter, there was a ray of light as local kids brought to life a time-honored Scandinavian tradition in the lead-up to Christmas.
The Ridge Creative Center, in partnership with the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, presented the annual St. Lucia pageant on December 14, at Redeemer St. John Church, 939 83rd Street, in Dyker Heights.
During the procession that is the centerpiece of the celebration, participants, dressed all in white, sing traditional songs and wear candle-studded crowns in honor of St. Lucia.
St. Lucia’s Day normally falls on December 13. It’s a festival of lights observed in portions of Scandinavia in honor of St. Lucia, a Christian martyr. The traditional observance of the holiday has the oldest daughter in the household lead the procession, as families serve coffee and baked goods, most notably golden saffron buns.
Before the procession, Ridge Creative Center founder Victoria Hofmo hosted a craft-making event for the students. Student Sofia White was chosen as St. Lucia. Other students involved were Alessandro Brito, Ellanor Cornish and Fiona Steever.
The procession started around 6 p.m, with the students singing Saint Lucia’s song, “Silent Night,” “Tip Tip Tap” and “Away in a Manger.” Spectators included families of the children participating.
The evening also included a visit from Tomte, played by Charlotta Amandussom, a mythic being associated with the winter solstice. She arrived at the end of the night to give out candy and toys.