Vancouver Lucia 2016 article for Swedish Press by Katarina Low
This year it is Hanna McFarlane, 21, who is the Lucia at the Scandinavian Centre in Burnaby, BC. She first took part in the Lucia procession at the age of 7 and has not missed a year since she joined 14 years ago! The celebration of St. Lucia, organized by the Swedish Cultural Society in Burnaby, has always been an event she looks forward to throughout the year. She has made lifelong friends during her years in the Lucia procession. It has been well worth the wait to finally be wearing crown of candles on December 10, for both the day and the evening performances. Hanna enjoys celebrating her mother’s culture, and creating lasting memories with everyone involved.
Vancouver Lucia 2016 Hanna McFarlane.
What is Hanna’s connection to Sweden?
“My mother was born and raised in Sweden. My family has been involved with the Swedish Cultural Society since before I was born. I started Swedish school at the age of 2 and attended until I was 11 years old. Some of my most fond memories from my involvement with the Swedish School would have to be from the annual camping trips up to Evans Lake in Squamish, BC. My friends and I always had so much fun exploring the forest, playing games, and roasting marshmallows by the campfire together.”
Hanna goes on to talk more about her Swedish background: “My favourite Swedish tradition that we celebrate in my family is the lighting of the advent candles on the weeks leading up to Christmas.”
And how about the Swedish cuisine?
“A delicious plate of meatballs and mashed potatoes with extra lingonberry sauce is definitely my weakness!”
The year leading up to the Lucia event is a time when the Lucia-to-be often takes on special duties in the Swedish community. Hanna explains: “This year I have participated in two flag bearing ceremonies - at the European Festival and the Midsummer Festival - as Sweden’s representative, which was an honour. I have also volunteered at several events, and I’ve been involved in the planning and organization for the upcoming Lucia 2016.”
Anything that you would like to add? “Yes, I’d like to say that am very appreciative of my parents for enrolling me in Swedish School and the Lucia procession at such a young age. I am honoured to have made it all the way to the end of this journey, and would not be here today if it wasn’t for them. I just want to say how excited, grateful, and honoured I am to be this year’s Lucia! I hope I make everyone proud, and this will definitely not be the end of my Swedish Cultural Society journey!"