Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Saint Lucia Day

Happy Lucia to my swedish friends and family!

Today in Sweden and other scandinavian countries, it's Lucia Day. This special day is part of the Christmas celebration. 

Each year on December 13th, Saint Lucia is celebrated with candlelight and traditional candle-lit processions. Lucia herself was Christian and died for her faith. The December 13th holiday honors her. 

Usually, the oldest girl in the family portrays Saint Lucia by putting on a white robe and a crown full of candles. She serves her parents Lucia buns (very very good) and mulled wine (glögg).

(photo from Modern Kiddo)

(photo from here)

(photo from here)

In Scandinavian history, the night of Saint Lucia was known to be the longest night of the year (winter solstice) which was changed when the Gregorian calendar was reformed. 

During a dark winter in Scandinavia, the idea of light overcoming darkness and sunlight has been welcomed by the locals for hundreds of years. The celebrations and processions on Saint Lucia day are illuminated by thousands of candles.

I've been in Stockholm a few times now on Lucia day and it is beautiful. You walk around the city seeing candles everywhere in the parks or in front of houses and local businesses. It feels very magical. 

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