It is Santa Lucia, one of my favorite Swedish holidays. And as the Swedish church and the Swedish school system continue to divide, I do hope this little tradition remains.
Because really, while this certainly has a religious background, I don’t think many people pray to Saint Lucia, they just like the snacks, the clothes and the songs.
In fact I would tell you the story of St. Lucia, but I never manage to get it right and I don’t think it has much to do with the celebration today.
Most schools and cities celebrate with a parade of girls dressed in white with candles in their hair. The boys dress as Star guys, Santa Claus or Gingerbread men (which even brought controversy this year – as the Gingerbread man song includes the refrain ‘So brown, so brown, so brown are we – a reference not to skin color, but you know, them being made of gingerbread).
I am very grateful that Little Swede’s school celebrates St. Lucia indoors. It has become more and more popular to have Lucia parades outdoors. As the temperature was -10 Celsius, the idea of sitting around outside was not high on my list of things to do.
The kids were adorable, the teachers sang beautifully, and we had a nice breakfast of rice porridge and Lussekatter (Saffron rolls – search my blog for a recipe!).
Learn a Lucia song below – 3 Gingerbread Men has been a favorite in our house this year!