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Lucia Day -- or St. Lucy's Day -- ranks importantly on the Swedish calendar. It honors a young Christian girl, martyred in ancient Rome, who is always portrayed with her head encircled by a halo of lights. Though not officially part of Advent, for many Swedes Lucia Day forms the gateway to the Christmas season.
Lucy means “light.” Lucina is the Sabine goddess of Light, who was often pictured holding a plate of cakes (later mistaken for eyeballs) and a lamp. She was later absorbed into an aspect of Juno, Juno Lucina, who is goddess of childbirth, bringing children to light. Since Lucy's day falls right before (or, before the calendar change, upon) the winter solstice, she can be seen as the midwife of the miraculous sun-child who is born at Yule.
School of the Seasons
To celebrate, decorate your table with a centerpiece designed to resemble Lucy's crown: affix seven candle holders to a circle of evergreens and insert white tapers. Lucia Day has light as its central theme. Serve your favorite brunch or tea fare along with julglögg (a Swedish mulled wine), a cake called Saint Lucy's crown, X-shaped buns called lussekattor and ginger cookies called luciapepparkakor.
Kirsten St. Lucia Holiday Gown
Saint Lucy Medal
Family Matching Snowflake Pajamas
St. Lucy's Day Print
Personalized Christmas Stockings