Hair candles? Singing about an Italian saint? Lusekatter? It’s Lucia Day in Scandinavia today.
Every year on December the 13th you’ll see thousands of Scandinavian children (and adults) with white dresses and candles in their hair, singing the Lucia song in schools, kindergartens, and workplaces.
This is in memory of Lucia of Syracusa who suffered the martyr death in year 300. This is kind of odd given that Lucia was a Catholic saint–and the Scandinavian countries are very far from Catholic.
The Lucia song
I don’t think you can find many Scandinavians who can’t sing at least some of the Lucia song–the song we sing in the Lucia procession.
This is the song with Norwegian lyrics:
Why does Norway celebrate Mother’s Day on the wrong day?
We eat a special kind of buns on Lucia Day; Lusekatter. They’re yellow from saffron, have a special shape and one raisin on each end.
Here is how you make Lusekatter (in Norwegian):
One thought on “Happy Lucia Day!”
This is an awesome post. As an anthropologist, I always love reading your cultural posts. I’ve seen the girl in white with candles in her hair and never known what the imagery meant. Thanks so much for posting.