Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Lucia a Festival of Lights in Sweden

     Last year, I wrote several posts about Swedish Christmas traditions.  Because so much is going on right now and I have little time, I will post some of those posts again this year.  I also have new followers since last Christmas who may enjoy learning about Swedish holiday  traditions. 
     Today, December 13, Santa Lucia is celebrated all over Sweden. This is a very special time, reminding people who live in this cold, dark, place that there is light in the world and celebrating this light.

     According to tradition, the eldest daughter in the family, wearing a crown of candles, brings coffee and Lucia buns (lussekatter) to her parents in bed. Yes, that's me as Santa Lucia with a crown of real candles on my head! (I did have a wet napkin on my hair, underneath the crown.) The girl and her court of younger siblings sing the old Italian song, Santa Lucia, in a translation that celebrates light coming to this dark season. This tradition continues in Swedish homes today, but with battery operated candles, I'm sure.
     Each community crowns their Queen of Light, their Santa Lucia, and in Stockholm there is a parade in the evening, ending in City Hall.
     The original Santa Lucia was a Sicilian woman, who became a saint. She is always presented with light in some fashion in art and literature. How she came to represent the Queen of Light in far removed Sweden is a legend too long to tell here.


  1. Thank you, thank you, Inger! I was hoping you'd repeat those marvelous Christmas posts. Am looking forward to the next one!

  2. Mycket intressant, Inger--& du sag underbar i din krona a ljus!

  3. My second grade class has been researching Christmas in Sweden as part of our unit on Christmas Around the World. I will have to show them this picture of you!

  4. Ikea had a Swedish Julbord this past Friday. We took my dad and his girlfriend. It was surprisingly tasty... and had so many of the family favorites that my mom used to serve.
    They had some Santa Lucias (with battery powered candles) that went around the diners. They also sang traditional Swedish carols.

  5. Love hearing of these traditions. My grandparent came from Sweden...and I'm ashamed i've never researched traditions from there.
    Thank you.

  6. i enjoyed reading them last year! i also liked the traditional cookie recipe you posted.

  7. Thanks for this interesting post Inger - it's lovely to hear about Christmas customs from other countries ...

    ... it's a pity I didn't know about this tradition when my daughters were young - I'm sure I would have enjoyed coffee and lussekatter in bed ... :)

  8. I wasn't here last year and am glad you are doing repeats. I love to learn. I think it neat that the kids are serving the parents.

  9. The combination of growing plants in indoor areas and an LED plant light is a great one. The main reason for this is the incredible cost savings that people can achieve by the use of an LED plant light. Traditional grow lights require ballasts to be able to operate. While that in itself is not a problem, the fact is that eventually all ballasts will wear or burn out and will need to be replaced, and that can be costly.

  10. I love that last comment that somehow snuck past my SPAM control and would like to point out that we are talking about a girl here, not a plant needing plant light.

    Dawn: It is so much fun for me to find second and third generations of Swedish-Americans among my blogger friends.

    fishducky: soon your Swedish will be better than mine.

    Hopeful: It is so great to have you back and I don't remember a cookie recipe from last year. I'll look for it though.

  11. Det var fin Lucia på Tv4 morgonen, det var det enda jag såg. Vi hade inget tyvärr på jobbet. En lussebulle fick man ju ta. Det är dock en trevlig tradition


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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