In Focus: Bemidji’s Sankta Lucia Celebration Returns In-Person
For the 47th year, the Bemidji American Swedish Institute celebrated the holiday legend of Sankta Lucia, the story of a young girl who brings light and food to those in the cold winter. The organization had another reason to celebration this event’s return, as it was the first one since the COVID-19 pandemic started to be held in-person and open to the public.
Starting at 6 a.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Bemidji, the celebration took place on December 13, the day recognized as the shortest day of the year in the old calendar. For the Bemidji community, this celebration meant more than just retelling the story of a Swedish icon.
Along with celebrating the upcoming Winter Solstice, taking place on December 21 this year, a younger member of the organization is chosen to represent Sankta Lucia. The selection process involves an interview about Sweden and its culture. The chosen Lucia then represents the institution throughout the year. For 2022, Claire Carlson was selected to fulfill the role.
Now approaching the 50th Sankta Lucia Fest, the Bemidji American Swedish Institute hopes to bring back every previous Lucia for a half-century celebration.
Following the candlelight festival, attendees had a traditional Swedish breakfast to continue the celebration.
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