Yesterday was an important day here in Sweden. We celebrated Lucia Day! I hope you’ll get to know more about what this mysterious day is, but also how and why Lucia dagen is celebrated here in Sweden.
To be very honest, I’ve never really heard of Lucia Day before moving to Sweden and looking at it today, I could have been doing a better job at researching Swedish traditions before actually coming here. So if you know nothing about it, don’t worry, it’s all good, it’s never too late to learn new things!
So, Lucia day is on the 13th of December, and it is actually not a holiday! It is for sure a celebration day, so be prepared to have some of the amazing “lussekatter” (aka. yummy saffron buns) in your office.
Some facts and history about this day!
Historically, Lucia was a mythological figure which was bringing lights into the long Swedish winter and its infamous darkness. The first traces of this tradition are taking us back all the way to year 304, and with time this tradition evolved, until 1764, when the first apparition of the Lucia in a white house was recorded. On the other hand, the serving of coffee and lussekatter for this day comes from the 1880s! (src: Sweden.se)
Nowadays, Lucia is a young lady, dressed in white and wearing a crown of candles on her head. The person who embodies Lucia is elected/chosen in her community to be the lady of the day. On the other hand, boys are also dressed in white and are carrying candles or lanterns around Lucia.
What can you do to celebrate it?
Usually, there are a lot of choirs in town! In every district, in every city, there is something you can attend. This tradition is really spread on a national level. Normally, the cities announce the events and other happenings, but if you are not sure, the choirs would have a show in a large public place or in churches. Lucia celebrations often come with coffee or mulled wine and saffron-flavored buns.
If you haven’t been there or haven’t experienced it yet, you should for sure go next year! And it is not too late to try the saffron buns! Though seasonal, you still have a few days to get them!