Lucia celebration | Undutchables

Lucia celebration

Categorie: Cultural

The Lucia Celebration (in Swedish “Luciadagen”) is a typical Swedish celebration of the light. It takes place 13th of December which is the day of the holy Lucia (Lucia of Syracuse). The celebration originated in the Middle Ages in the area called Västergötland, Sweden. From there on it has spread to the rest of Sweden and even to neighboring Scandinavian countries.

In Sweden itself, it marks the beginning of Christmas time. This old tradition contains elements of the pre-Christian midwinter festival. In early times, 13th of December was equal to the midwinter night. Through calendar instructions, the shortest day of the year is skipped all of the time, but the date of celebration is not. It is still celebrated on the 13th of December to this day.

Now what does this tradition mean?

According to tradition, early in the morning of 13th of December girls and boys are dressed in white clothing and a red sashes with candles on their heads. They will  wake up their family members and bring them food. While doing this they sing traditional Lucia songs. It also is a tradition that every village or town, chooses their own Lucia for that year. During this celebration it is common to eat traditional Lusse bullar (saffron rolls) and pepparkaka (gingerbread) and to drink Glögg (this is a kind of warm wine with nice spices and herbs). Glögg can be white or red and they even have alcohol free options for the children and youngsters.

As said before this celebration is being held in several Scandinavian countries; Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland also have very nice traditions with celebration the day of light. Also countries such as Italy and Croatia celebrate the holy Lucia, although in a different form. Believe it or not but this celebration is also being held in ……the Netherlands in a village called Beek has a tradition in celebrating Lucia every year. 

Saffron Rolls
Music Sheet
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