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December 11, 2009

Saint Lucia’s Day

Filed under: Authors, History, MHS press, Scandinavian Studies — pennefesm @ 9:18 am

phpLldDk4Sunday, December 13, is Saint Lucia’s Day, the day that oldest daughters in Swedish and Swedish American homes don a crown of burning candles and deliver saffron buns known as lussekatter to the family while singing the beautiful Santa Lucia.

Phebe Hanson remembers her family’s Minnesota celebration in the 1930s in a lovely poem published in Where One Voice Ends Another Begins, edited by Robert Hedin.

The original Lucia, patron saint of the blind whose name means “light,” was martyred in Sicily in AD 304 when she refused to marry a pagan. Medieval accounts hold that her eyes were gouged out with a fork before she was burned at the stake, and she is often depicted holding her eyes on a golden plate. The day is the longest night of the year on the old Julian calendar.

Battery-powered electric crowns are now available.

St Lucia Day

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