Update: I've since created a new post titled "How to Celebrate St. Lucia Day," including recipes and how to put together a Lucia costume. Check it out.
One of my absolute favorite holidays of the year is coming up! And I'm sure some of you have never ever heard of it. It's St. Lucia Day on December 13.
My wonderful mother is Swedish and brought this lovely tradition into our home as I was growing up.
On December 13 we celebrate Lucia day, one of the most important dates during the Swedish advent. This celebration is dedicated to honoring St. Lucia the Catholic Sicilian martyr, as well as a pagan tradition of bringing food to those less fortunate during the long dark winter.
Traditionally the oldest girl in each household dresses as Lucia, wearing a long white dress, red sash and a crown of lingonberry twigs and candles. Early in the morning before light she greets family members with lussekatter (saffron buns) and coffee.
Many towns and schools elect their own Lucia, who with her followers (tärnorna) leads a procession while singing 'Sankta Lucia' and other Christmas songs. The younger children that follow her are the star girls and star boys.
In our house we serve cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate and rotate which daughter gets to be Lucia. I've continued this wonderful tradition with roommates and now the hub. I even bought my own Lucia music on iTunes last year.
Even better, I just received some lovelies in the mail--thank goodness for the Hemslojd catalogue/site! This year I bought my own crown. (it was about time...and I'm sure my mom is so glad i'm not going to steal it away this year) The second item is a ceramic tile of Lucia...just so darn cute. And I absolutely had to have the angel chimes. Though they have nothing to do with Lucia day (i think) they resonate Christmastime. I can't tell you how many memories I have of sitting on a bar stool in my parent's kitchen just staring at those chimes. It is one of the most vivid memories I have---and that I hold near and dear.
Anyone else celebrate Lucia day?