Lu­cia Fest and St. Eric’s Fair at Old Swedes’ Church

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - COMMUNITY -

The Lu­cia Fest weaves to­gether a num­ber of Swedish hol­i­day tra­di­tions into a col­or­ful mu­si­cal pageant. The heart of the cel­e­bra­tion is the Lu­cia pro­ces­sion in which a young woman is joined by other fe­male mem­bers of the house­hold in tak­ing hot cof­fee and a warm Lu­cia bun to all the res­i­dents of the home. She comes crowned with can­dles, dressed in white, singing her tra­di­tional song, “Sankta Lu­cia.” In Swe­den her day is cel­e­brated in homes be­fore dawn on the 13th of De­cem­ber, which, at one stage of life with the Ju­lian cal­en­dar, marked the win­ter sol­stice – the point at which the hours of dark­ness be­gin to di­min­ish and the day­light hours be­gin to lengthen.

At Glo­ria Dei (Old Swedes’ Church) the cel­e­bra­tion is held within the walls con­structed by Swedish set­tlers in 16991700, in the beauty of can­dle­light, with a large en­tourage of young girls join­ing her in song and pro­ces­sion. For many peo­ple par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Lu­cia Fest is a unique way of mark­ing the be­gin­ning of the hol­i­day sea­son. 2016 marks 79 years of this cel­e­bra­tion.

One of the Lu­cias this year is Elis­abeth Hed­strom. She is a res­i­dent of West Ch­ester and is a se­nior at Ba­yard Rustin High School in West Ch­ester..

Pre­sen­ta­tions will be made at 6 and 8 p.m. Fri­day, Dec. 9; on Satur­day and Sun­day, Dec. 10 and 11, the pre­sen­ta­tions are at 2, 3:30, and 5 p.m. Be­fore, dur­ing, and af­ter each of the pre­sen­ta­tions, the St. Eric’s Fair, a Christ­mas bazaar that spe­cial­izes in Scan­di­na­vian im­ports, is held in the Parish Hall that ad­joins the church. Food and drink are avail­able.

Tick­ets can be pur­chased on­line at un­til Dec. 1; af­ter that date, tick­ets will be avail­able the day of the per­for­mances based on avail­abil­ity at the door. Groups of 10 or more are en­cour­aged to make reser­va­tions by call­ing the church of­fice at 215389-1513. Tick­ets are $13 per adult; $7 for chil­dren un­der 12 years of age.

Glo­ria Dei (Old Swedes’ Church) is lo­cated in South Philadelphia on Christo­pher Colum­bus Blvd, just to the south of Penn’s Land­ing, be­tween Chris­tian Street and Washington Av­enue. Free park­ing is pro­vided.

The pub­lic is in­vited.

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