Friday, December 13, 2019
St. Lucia's Day, also called the festival of lights celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and the Swedish-speaking areas of Finland on December 13 in honour of St. Lucia. One of the earliest Christian martyrs, St. Lucia was killed by the Romans in 304 ce because of her religious beliefs. This is a major Swedish tradition. Girls and boys in white gowns sing to celebrate the mythical Saint Lucia, the bearer of light.
Alongside Midsummer, the Lucia celebrations represent one of the foremost cultural traditions in Sweden, with their clear reference to life in the peasant communities of old: darkness and light, cold and warmth. Lucia is an ancient mythical figure with an abiding role as a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters. Stockholm proclaimed its first Lucia in 1927. The custom whereby Lucia serves coffee and buns “Lussekatter” dates back to the 1880s, although the buns were around long before that.