Monday, December 13, 2021

Sankta Lucia Day


Today is Sankta Lucia Day in Sweden

In the old calendar, December 13th was the longest night of the year. It was also the most dangerous. A night when animals could speak and fairies, trolls, and giants roamed the forests. In the countryside, young people would dress up in costumes and go from house to house, singing songs, eating and drinking with their neighbors. 

The custom of a Lucia dressed in white was first recorded in 1764, but didn't become popular until the 19th century. 

The tradition continues today. On December 13th, Sankta Lucia Day is celebrated in Sweden with festivals of light across the country. At the darkest time of year, people are reminded that our earth will soon begin to turn toward the light of spring.

According to tradition, the eldest daughter in the family, wearing a white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles, brings coffee and Lucia buns (lussekatter) to her parents in bed. 

Yes, that's me, bringing coffee in our best cups to my parents in bed. 

During the festivities, the Swedish version of the old Neapolitan song Santa Lucia is sung in schools, homes, and during Lucia parades in cities and towns across Sweden.


This is a repeat post from last year. I hope you are not tired of seeing me as Lucia. 

It's four in the morning here in California and I was awake reading an email from my Danish friend, who reminded me that Lucia is celebrated today. I've told the story of Saint Lucy several times on this day here on my blog. 

Since I'm late, I will just post this now and wish you all a Happy Lucia Day. I will light a candle for Saint Lucy, a Sicilian woman, who has come to represent light during the dark season in the Nordic countries. And I will definitely play Andrea Bocelli singing the Santa Lucia song. Click below to hear this beautiful old Neapolitan song, that is heard everywhere in Sweden today. Traditions, how they originated, how we keep them up, I find it both interesting and lovely. 


  1. I remember your adorable self with candles and wish you a Happy St Lucia Day... no one can sing it better than Andrea Bocelli... did Faith bring yu tea in bed? minus the candles of course.. hugs

  2. Never tire of you as Lucia. Adorable. Are those candles lit? A little scary. I have heard that song most of my life but never knew the story behind it. Thank you.
    Do you suppose if I talk to Callie tonight, she might answer me? Think I'll give it a try.

  3. I know this song! But I never associated it with this particular celebration. How cool! You are so adorable in these shots; at first I thought they were professional promotional photos!

  4. How sweet you're!! No, this is the first I've seen this, so, I'm happy you reposted!!!

  5. I love seeing you as a little girl and learning more about your life and this celebration. Sending you lots of hugs, Diane

  6. Hi Inger - I love seeing your photos of you as the girl of light for Sankta Lucia day ... you always take me to Sweden. Stay safe and enjoy life around you ...cheers Hilary

  7. I had NO idea that song was called Santa Lucia! I LOVE the photos of you as St. Lucia -- precious. I am so happy some old traditions are kept up.

  8. You look lovely as a swedish girl with candles on top!
    Santa Lucia is an old time wonderful italian song! It's a classic.

  9. Aw, you are adorable! My grandma was Norwegian and passed on many traditions but not that one, so maybe they don’t have it in Norway.
    Thanks for visiting my blog today. I hope we can become blog friends.

  10. I never tire of seeing you! as little Santa Lucia or anything else.
    you brought back a wonderful memory for me on that day with my dear little Mother.
    Margareta (our Swedish exchange student and my best friend that year) ...
    first woke her exchange parents with the coffee and special buns... then we went to my house where we woke my mother with hot coffee and a bun! (my dad was on duty and thus not there.) Margareta was dressed in white with the crown of candles on her blonde head.
    I can't remember what I wore! but I felt the importance and Love of the moment. I think I probably looked more like a dark haired mischievous elf following in her lovely blonde footsteps. but it's a wonderful memory. XO thanks Inger!

  11. I never tire of seeing you as Lucia, celebrating a tradition that we don't have here in the US. Happy Sankta Lucia Day!

  12. Such a lovely post and thank you for sharing the photographs of you.

    All the best Jan


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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