Swedish Ambassador Ingrid Johansson hosted a Lucia Celebration at the ambassador’s residence to mark the beginning of Christmas season.
Young children from the International School of Islamabad performed traditional carols with ‘Lucia’ wearing a crown of candles on her head, while her handmaidens carried a candle and the star boys carried stars on sticks and had paper cones on their heads. The youngest children were dressed as brownies, carrying small lanterns.
Ambassador Johansson said: “Thank you all for accepting our invitation and joining us on Lucia, a day which is a Swedish tradition that opens the Christmas season. The tradition is not as old as you would think as it was picked up from Sicily some 200 years ago from Santa Lucia. The symbol of light is much needed in Sweden currently, as there are some parts of the north that haven’t seen the sun for a few weeks and will not see the sun till mid-February.”
Thanking the guests, who were partners for Sweden in different projects and endeavours, she added that they had placed the photographs from the recent Pakistani Papas project for viewing and invited Master Ayub, the founder of the school for street children. The guests contributed to a collection for the school to support the cause.
Delicious traditional Swedish hors d’oeuvres were served as the guests from different sectors and the diplomatic corps mingled.
Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2018