Hundreds of kayaks decked with Christmas lights and decorations lit up the winter darkness as they floated through the canals in central Copenhagen on Monday (December 13) night to celebrate Saint Lucia’s Day.
Bystanders watched from streets and bridges around the city as around 700 hundred kayaks moved along the canal for a parade to bring light into the darkness.
“Santa Lucia is something that is bringing light to people in darkness and we do live in a dark period right now,” said Gustavo Cordes, who is the manager of the Kayak Bar that organises the event.
At four stops along the route, the participants stopped off for some traditional singing.
Apart from having to decorate the kayaks and to dress warmly should one fall into the dark and cold water, the only rule was to have 360 degree visible lights on the kayaks.
The best decorated kayaks received a bottle of champagne.
Some of the canoeists wore a traditional Lucia crown of candles on their heads, which is associated with the third-century saint’s day, which is usually celebrated on December 13 with a procession of singing children, led by a “Lucia” wearing a crown of candles.
The procession of light at one of the darkest times of the year in Scandinavia originated in Sweden at the end of the 19th Century, and was later adapted by their neighbours in Denmark.