Norwegian kindergarten drops Lucia event over paparazzi parents

Norwegian kindergarten drops Lucia event over paparazzi parents
Photo: bzzup/Depositphotos
A childcare centre in Norway has changed its traditional plans for a Lucia procession, citing trouble from snap-happy parents.

Like in neighbouring Sweden, St. Lucy, a Catholic saint martyred in 304 AD, is often celebrated in early morning ceremonies on December 13th.

The Lucia processions usually involve wearing a white dress and a candle-wreath for headgear, and are accompanied by early morning servings of glögg (sweet mulled wine), buns and ginger snaps.

But such is the desperation of parents to get a good photo of their child in the procession, a kindergarten (barnehage) in Stange, Hedmark county has decided to instead celebrate with a simpler light festival, NRK reports.

A specific incident at the childcare facility seven years ago is closely connected to the decision, according to the report.

“There were chaotic scenes on that occasion,” Merete Nilssen, director of the Utsikten kindergarten, told NRK.

Parents pushing forward to get photos of their kids caused such a commotion that the pre-school children began to cry, according to the account.

Since then, a ‘light festival’ has replaced the Lucia procession as the December 13th ceremony. An attempt on one occasion to create more space by having the procession outside proved unsuccessful.

The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (Utdanningsdirektoratet) supports the decision, noting children have a right to privacy, NRK writes.

“In a time when everything has to be documented, it’s okay to remind people that nothing is better than the real experience, the (education directorate) urges,” the authority’s Lars Kvenshagen Gimse said to the broadcaster.

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