December Holidays Around the World

“St.Lucy’s Day” — Sweden

It is believed that many years ago, Christians in Sweden were forced to hide in deep caves to avoid religious persecution. It was down deep in these caves that they could find shelter, but they had no food and water to survive. In the late hours of night, a young girl named Luciadagen would come and bring them food and drink. Using the evening stars for guidance, Luciadagen also had the aid of her laurel crown which she adorned with candles to see through the dark of night.

Today, the Swedish custom of celebration is for the oldest daughter to wake before dawn on St. Lucy’s Day, dressed in a white gown for purity, and a red sash which represents martyrdom. On her head she will wear a wreath of greenery with lit candles. Accompanied by “star boys,” her younger brothers will share in the celebration also wearing a gown, and a coned shaped blue hat which has been decorated with stars.  “St. Lucy” will then go around her house and wake the family to serve them St.Lucy’s Day specialties, such as saffron buns, ginger cookies, and hot chocolate.

In class today we learned about how children in Sweden celebrate this holiday. We made “laurel head wreaths” and “Star boy hats.” Students also had the opportunity to decorate ginger bread men, and we all sampled ginger cookies and hot chocolate.


1 Comment

  1. Dorene McManus

     /  November 30, 2011

    Awesome. Love the photo.

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