Swedish Saint Lucia Day


During some of my recovery time after one of my surgeries, I enjoyed stitching this Mill Hill beaded banner, called "Angel of Tidings".  Because of the wreath that she is wearing on her head,
it kind of reminds me of the Swedish mythical Saint Lucia, although Lucia wears a wreath of lighted candles in her hair.  
 I first learned of the custom of Saint Lucia Day, celebrated on December 13th, from my husband, Bruce, who is Swedish.  Lucia was an ancient mythical girl who bore the role of a "bearer of light" during the dark, cold Swedish winters.  Ancient stories tell of Lucia rising very early in the morning, wearing a candle lit wreath in her hair, to light her way. 

Today, in Sweden,  the Saint Lucia celebrations consist of a processional with Lucia, her handmaidens, "Star" boys and Brownies, following, carrying small lanterns.  Lucia, the handmaidens and "Star" boys all wear white gowns.  Only Lucia wears the lighted wreath of candles on her head, her hands held together in front of her.  Her handmaidens wear green wreaths in their hair and hold lighted candles.  The "Star" boys, also dressed in white gowns, carry stars on stitcks and wear tall paper cone shaped hats on their heads.

Lucia and her handmaidens sing a traditional Lucia themed song, perhaps like this one:

"The night treads heavily, around years and dwellings.  In places unreached by sun, the shadows brood.  Into our dark house she comes, bearing lighted candles.  Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia".
((Taken from the Swedish Institute)

A custom, dating back to 1880, includes Lucia serving sweet saffron buns, called (lusslkatter), shaped like "curled up cats with raisin eyes", with coffee, or Swedish glogg, a traditional Swedish Christmas drink.

I would love to hear about some of your favorite customs or traditions to celebrate too.  All of your visits and comments mean so much to me, and I love hearing from all of you! 
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