Saint Lucia - the legend
All around the world proud swedes celebrates Lucia, the saint who brings light, prosperity, hope, and love to mankind. She originates from Sicily, Italy, representing the poor and sick in the name of Christianity. She prayed her mother would heal from an illness and promised God to pledge her life to him. Her engagement to be married was called off but her suitor was not was not happy with loosing his bride to be. She was accused of witchcraft and sentenced to be burned on the stake. The fire would not light and she was stabbed to death as a result.
According to legend a tale of a woman in a helmet of light and her maidens all dressed in white gowns and approached the shores of Sweden to save the people from the famine coming their way.
Families in Sweden today celebrate each year on December 13th usually by the eldest daughter dressing up as Lucia in a white gown with red ribbon around her waist and a crown of candles and fresh greens from the forrest.
Usually she is accompanied by her younger siblings, girls called tärnor in white robes and tinsel around their heads and waist, and boys called stjärngossar in white robes with cones on their heads carrying star wands. They sing in beautiful harmony and wake the parents and family up with breakfast of coffee, glögg, gingerbread cookies, and freshly baked Lucia buns made from saffron.
It is a public custom in churches and schools for Lucia to make her appearance in the early morning hours before sunrise. Common is for each town to have their own Lucia election each year with the most popular candidate voted as the Saint Lucia representative. Inspiring?
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