All souls night in Scandinavia

All over Lutheran Sweden tonight, many families will be following an old tradition and will visit the graves of close relatives to place a lighted candle there. It’s no longer celebrated in Denmark, when since 1686, all the old holy day’s were almalgamated into the Stor Bilde Dag, or the great prayer day. However the celebration of Santa Lucia on December 13th (Candlemas) is a largely secular hangover from an extremely distant Catholic past.

Adds: This Candlemas (lit. the Candle Mass) celebration was originally known in Denmark as Kyndelmeisse, and was celebrated on 2nd Feburary, about the time of the celtic festival of Imbolc (one of the four major festivals, the others being Bealtaine, Lunasa and Samhain).

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