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Traditions: St Lucia Day


Not to be confused with the incredibly beautiful island in the Caribbean (although you should totally go there and we can help!), St Lucia Day is a municipal festival rooted in early Christianity primarily celebrated in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It falls each year on December 13th, the Catholic feast day of St Lucia.


Lucia was an early Christian (circa 4th century CE) who held strong and was eventually martyred by the Romans, for her religious beliefs. As legend tells us, she brought food to Christians in the roman catacombs, lighting her way with a wreath of candles atop her head.


This story has evolved into a high point of the Scandinavian winter festivities. It is traditional for each town to elect a child to play the role of Lucia in a procession, clad in white with candles atop her head, followed by other children in the town, both boys and girls, in white clothing singing traditional songs, such as Sankta Lucia:




Although Lucia is said to have come before dawn, many of these events take place in the evenings for practical purposes.


Keeping in line with the story, the St Lucians also bring St Lucia buns, called Lussebullar. These simple yeasted buns with a hint of saffron are made and brought by children to their parents.


Please excuse me while I go find a white nightgown and a wreath I can stick some candles on so my kid has to bring me breakfast in bed!



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