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By Julie Astrid Thomsen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A flotilla of kayaks decked in lights and Christmas decorations floated through the canals of central Copenhagen on Wednesday evening to celebrate Saint Lucia's Day.

Thousands watched from streets and bridges as around 400 kayaks illuminated the Danish capital's dark canals.

"We have people coming from other northern countries but also Italy and last year we had someone coming from the (United) States so it's a big thing now," Tobias Weber-Andersen of Danish Kayak Republic, organiser of the event, told Reuters.

Traditionally Saint Lucia's Day is celebrated on the evening of Dec. 13 with a procession of singing children dressed in white and led by a "Lucia Bride" wearing a candle crown.

The light-bearing procession in honour of the 3rd-century saint originated in Sweden and was later adapted by the Danes.

(Reporting by Julie Astrid Thomsen; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Reuters