Lovely St. Lucy

Sankta Lucia is one of my favorite days of the year and this year we did it right. December 13th is the day that commemorates St. Lucia and the bringing in of the lights.  In Sweden it is celebrated in homes, hospitals, schools, and other public areas across the land.  The Lucia (the eldest daughter in the family setting) brings in a tray with Lussekattor which are special buns made with cardamon and saffron, and coffee while singing the St. Lucia song.

Lucia wears a long white dress, as do her younger brothers and sisters, with a red sash and a crown of candles on her hair.  The boys are star boys - they carry a star on a staff, and what looks like a white wizard hat on their head.   The girls are "tärnor" and they wear a tinsel wreath of their hair and a tinsel belt around their white robes.  The bringing in of the lights in this dark and dreary time is so magical and lovely.  I especially like all the singing, there are many songs of different origins, that we all know and sing together whether as a family or in a choir.

This year the kids and I did Lucia for their grandparents who happened to have spent the night.  I think they felt as surprised as some of the Nobel prize winners did in Sweden, when the Lucia came into their rooms in the morning!  Then Special K and I also went Lucia for her class at school.  The children loved it.  We entered the room singing (the candles had to go unlit due to school policy) and brought them the homemade Lussekattor and coffee for the teachers.  They asked questions like do we give out presents (no) and do we make special foods (no) for Lucia.

Actually now that I think about it, that's one of the nice things about this holiday!  After the baking and preparation of the breakfast tray, you are all set to enjoy the music and beauty of St. Lucia who brings in the light and reminds you of all the non-commercial treats that the Christmas season has in store.  I love sharing St. Lucia with the school children, and although every year I vow it's my last I may pull out the crown next year and do it all over again.  Bad picture, great holiday!


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