Friday, December 12, 2014

Santa Lucia (Saint Lucy's Day)

December 13 marks the Swedish holiday St. Lucia Day (pronounced SAN-ta loo-SEE-ah), a festival of light during the darkest part of the year.  St. Lucia is dressed in a long, white dress with red sash and a headpiece with candles.  My mom loves Tasha Tudor, and I remember looking at her illustrations when I was little, especially in A Time to Keep. (Floating birthday cake & candles, anyone?)  Decades later this image (actually by her associate, Linda Allen) is what I picture for Swedish Lucia...

Olivia's school's choir performed a St. Lucia concert this week.  The whole school walked to a nearby church to watch.  All the participating students dressed up as Lucias, tomtes (Santas), star boys, or gingerbread men. I think six kids passed out (or had to sit down) including Lucia herself, and another kid threw up. The concert was unintentionally exciting.

There are plenty of products for sale locally that bear the characters of St. Lucia Day.  It's kind of a big deal here, although not an official holiday in the day-off-work sense.

Tomte, Gingerbread Man, Star Boy, Lucia
And of course there's special food: Lussekatt, which are S-shaped saffron and raisin buns, sold in all the bakeries.

Olivia has already enjoyed dressing up in her Santa Lucia outfit, although her turn to do this at school isn't until next week.

(Updated to add a pic...)

1 comment:

Cassie Collins said...

How cute! Makes me think of the American Girl Kristin doll! What a fun tradition though.