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Traditions for the feast of St.Lucia

In Sweden the eldest daughter in the household will rise early to prepare Lussekatter (Lucia’s cakes), dressed in a white robe with a red sash and a crown of green leaves with lighted candles (for today’s safety concious the candles are replaced with electric lights and batteries), her sisters also dressed in white and carrying a candle and brothers dressed in white with a large cone shaped hat they go and serve their parents coffee and cake and welcome the start of Chritmas time. In most towns and villages there will be a St.Lucia who will walk through the streets bringing and distributing Lucia’s cakes. Most Scandinavian countries celebrate in the same way as Sweden.

In Switzerland Lucia walks through the streets with Father Christmas, she distributes gifts to the girls and he, to the boys.

In Italy people bake small eye shaped biscuits – biscotti – especially for this feast day. They light bonfires and hold candle light processions.

In Sicily people celebrate the feast of St.Lucia by not eating wheat flour products, instead they make and eat cuccia made from whole wheat, this is in honour of a miracle performed by the saint in a time of famine when she deposited a boat filled with wheat on the shore. The people were so hungry they did not even grind it to flour and instead ate it whole.

Video of song to Santa Lucia

Saint Lucia

In Saint Lucia, a tiny island in the Caribbean named after its patron saint, St. Lucy, December 13 is celebrated as National Day. The National Festival of Lights and Renewal is held the night before the holiday, in honour of St Lucy of Syracuse the saint of light. In this celebration, decorative lights (mostly bearing a Christmas theme) are lit in the capital city of Castries; artisans present decorated lanterns for competition; and the official activities end with a fireworks display. This is also to commemorate Christmas and the Christmas tree. In the past, a jour ouvert celebration has continued into the sunrise of 13 December.