Author: Caroline Brandelious Date Posted:13 December 2019
Image by View Stockholm
It might be the darkest time of the year but thanks to Saint Lucia, in every Nordic country 13th of December is a warm and bright day. Lucia is famous for bringing light and Christmas joys to the Nordic hearts.
Dressed in a long white gown with a red velvet band around her waist, wearing a crown filled with candles Lucia walks in singing the classic “Saint Lucia” song. She is followed by people also singing dressed in long white gowns with either glitter or a wreath around their heads carrying a candle light. A Lucia concert can take place outside or inside and it’s normally celebrated early in the morning when the snow is still crispy, night sky clear and darkness thick so Lucia can shine with her lights through the dusky December morning.
Lucia Day is celebrated in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. If you’re not participating in a Lucia concert you would probably go and watch one. Especially if you have kids. Almost every school arranges a Lucia concert for the family to come and watch. This can be a very teary event as the parents reminisce back to school days when they had their Lucia concert and now their little ones are singing Christmas carols while stumbling on the long white gown.
Image by Pixabay.com
If you’re not invited to a Lucia concert or just want to stay warm and snuggly in bed on a cold dark December morning there is always a live broadcast of a Lucia concert on TV. You can watch while sipping on your coffee and munching gingerbread snaps in bed.
The Lucia Fika is as important as the concert. Saffron buns, ginger bread and Glögg are some of the traditional ones. This is normally served after the concert or any time during the day. A lot of workplaces have their own Lucia Fika for their staff and it is also common to inviting people to your home for a Lucia Fika.
The Lucia tradition is almost 400 years old and has its roots in Italy. Saint Lucia lived in Sicily and gave food and aid to the poor people of Sicily. She was Christian and when her catholic husband found out she was Christian, which was forbidden in the Catholic Empire of Rome, he killed her by burning her at the stake. Lucia comes from the Latin word “lux” which means light. In the Nordic countries 13th of the December used to be the darkest day of the year and believed to be full with vicious spirits in nature. Lucia who also died the same date ended up being a Saint who protected the cold Nordic people from the bad spirits with her bright lights in the darkness.
Today Lucia is not only a celebration in the Nordic Countries. Scandinavians living abroad have taking this beloved tradition with them and in Nordic communities around the world you can find Lucia events happening. If you visit Nordic Fusion online or in store we will have everything you need for a classic Lucia celebration down under.