Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Happy St Lucia's Day!
St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. Lucy means 'light' so this is a very appropriate name.
St. Lucia's Day is now celebrated by a girl dressing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head. Swedish schools normally have their own St. Lucias and some town and villages also choose a girl to play St. Lucia in a procession where carols are sung.
A national Lucia is also chosen. Lucias also visit hospitals and old people's homes singing a song about St Lucia and handing out 'Pepparkakor', ginger snap biscuits.
Small children sometimes like dressing up as Lucia and boys might dress up as 'Stjärngossar' (star boys) and girls might be 'tärnor' (like Lucia but without the candles). [source]
Yesterday Farmor and Farfar dressed up as Lucia and a star boy and did a small procession. Here is a photo of them singing traditional songs.