Celebrating PLU’s 2017 Sankta Lucia

Sankta Lucia students on stage

A bearer of light in a dark world

For more than 60 years Pacific Lutheran University has been celebrating Sankta Lucia. This year, the tradition continues on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. in Karen Hille Phillips Center for Performing Arts.

The tradition, most strongly celebrated in Sweden, honors a young woman who stood up for her beliefs and her family in the face of persecution. At PLU, the Lucia is chosen based on an essay and interview process where they show dedication, a sense of service and optimism. The Lucia is recognized with a $500 scholarship and a crown of candles.

Sankta Lucia brings together PLU’s Scandinavian and Lutheran heritage with a focus on gender equality and vocation by celebrating a symbol of steadfast dedication to do good in the world,” said Elisabeth Ward, former director of the Scandinavian Cultural Center.

Event Details

Date: Sunday, Dec. 3
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Place: Karen Hille Phillips Center for Performing Arts.
Admission: $5 (general)
Free to PLU students; Reception to follow

All students who apply share their voices with the PLU community at a public concert. Members of the public are invited to participate as well, particularly children under the age of 13, who wish to share in this traditional Nordic festival.

The students also perform at local nursing homes, where they distribute hand made gifts to the residents, as well as sing the Lucia songs and other Christmas carols. The Lucia’s also help bring joy to the participants of PLU’s Winterfest event by welcoming the families.

Traditionally awarded only to female students, in 2015 we clarified the application process to any student who identifies as female. A portion of the Lucia story includes an awareness of her body as sacred and resisting male domination over her body by refusing to get married. Lucia embodies a historical trend of women seeking to define themselves, and we celebrate that aspect of her story too in limiting the scholarship to students who identify as female.
The Candle Ceremony

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Brief History of Lucia Fest at PLU

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The Legend of Sankta Lucia

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Sankta Lucia Scholarship

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