I always loved December because of all the little celebrations. Growing up we would celebrate Advent every Sunday with candles, oranges, tea and cookies with friends, family and pumpkin pie. It took my mind off the damp, cold and dark December nights to have these little celebrations to look forward to.
My favorite December holiday is Lucia. It celebrates the ancient mythical character of Lucia, the catholic patron saint of the blind and also bringer of light. It is a celebration to spread light in dark places with candles and music. You can find more information on her here.
The way Lucia worked when I was a child was that I spent the day singing these traditional songs with various choirs throughout the day in churches, concert halls, old age homes, hospitals, schools and so on. This year, I am playing arrangements of these songs at Rockwood Music Hall, stage 2, on December 12th at 7 pm. With everything that is going on in the world right now I think it is important to spread some light in the darkness. I have mixed in music from Syria, Brazil, South Africa, Bulgaria and Brazil with Jazz and the traditional melodies sung on this celebration. I will also be bringing enough Pepparkakor (swedish ginger bread cookies) for everyone.