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Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit participate in traditional St. Lucia celebration

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway participated today in the traditional celebration of St. Lucia in Norway. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess chose to celebrate the day together with the elderly residents at the nursing home in Lørenskog, located just outside the capital Oslo.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess arrived at the nursing home at 11 o’clock and were welcomed by the County Governor of Akershus Valgerd Svarstad Haugland, Mayor of Lørenskog Ragnhild Bergheim and Deputy Police Chief Arne Jørgen Olafsen. After arrival, the royals received a tour of the nursing home where they greeted many of the people living there. Among other things, they could see the common areas and look at the choir that the elderly here have created.

The Crown Princess received flowers when she arrived at the nursing home. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

The Crown Princess and Crown Prince are welcomed by Lørenskog’s mayor. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

Half an hour after arrival, the traditional celebration of St. Lucia began. The “Lucia-parade” consisted of 35 children from Løkenåsen kindergarten. They sang the Lucia song before handing out traditional Lucia pastries to the Crown Prince Couple and the elderly residents at the nursing home. After the Lucia celebration, the Crown Prince took the time to talk to those living at the nursing home before they left.

As the Crown Prince and Crown Princess left the nursing home, the press was given the opportunity to ask a few short questions. Royal Central‘s Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen asked what the Crown Prince thought had been the best with today’s visit? The Crown Prince replied, “It was very nice to visit this place and see what a great atmosphere they create here. It was nice to be a part of that atmosphere.”

See the interview in the video below, only in Norwegian.

Lørenskog nursing home has been in operation since 1989. The nursing home consists of seven departments with a total of 156 residents. The nursing home has a doctor present every day during the day, a hairdresser and advanced facilities to take blood tests and different laboratory services. There are also affiliated activists and music therapists here, which contribute to the enjoyment every day for both users, relatives and employees.

Crown Prince Haakon serving pastries to the elderly. Crown Princess Mette Marit in the background. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Photo: Oskar Aanmoen / Royal Central.

Saint Lucy’s Day is a Christian feast day celebrated on 13 December in Advent, commemorating Saint Lucy, a 3rd-century martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution, who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs. Saint Lucy’s Day is celebrated most commonly in Scandinavia, with their long dark winters, where it is a significant feast day, and in Italy, with each emphasising a different aspect of the story. In Scandinavia, where Saint Lucy is called Santa Lucia in Norwegian.

Historically Norwegians considered what they called Lussinatten the longest night of the year and no work must be done. From that night until Christmas, spirits, gnomes and trolls roamed the earth according to the traditional fairytale.

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