The start of the Christmas season in Sweden is December 13th: Saint Lucia’s Day. Though we’re a little late to the game, we still think it’s a fun tradition to try.
On this morning, a family’s eldest daughter dons herself as Saint Lucia in white gown, red sash, and lighted candle crown, and awakens her family with traditional song, warm drink, Lussekatter (saffron buns), and ginger biscuits.
The holiday festivities, occurring during one of Scandinavia’s darkest days of the year, symbolize the true hope and light that Christ brings to a dark world at Christmas.
Legend has it that Saint Lucia (or Saint Lucy), who lived in Sicily around 300 AD, bravely brought sustenance to persecuted Christians hiding in catacombs during the terror of Roman Emperor Diocletian. Hands full, she fashioned a crown of candles on her head to light her way through the dark underground.
Let Saint Lucia inspire your own celebration this December 13th. But instead of startling friends and family from their beds, invite them to a Saint Lucia’s Day brunch fitted with Lussekatter, gingerbread, hot chocolate, and your favorite breakfast foods!
We admire how Saint Lucia, a young woman about our age, selflessly brought light and nourishment to those in need. She challenges us to consider: how might we do the same?
Tutorial for Saint Lucia Candle Crown:
- Fresh greenery – we used a bundle of boxwood from Bennett’s Greenhouse
- Green floral wire
- Wire cutter
- Skinny white taper candles. We used six.
Step 1: Measure a piece of floral wire around your head. Add a little extra length and twist excess ends of wire to form loop.
Step 2: Weave sprigs of greenery under and over looped wire base. Secure with wire segments. Continue until crown is full.
Step 3: Cut length of wire and wrap middle portion around candle to create a secure base. Position candle on inside of crown. Wrap remaining wire around boxwood branches, underneath leaves, to affix. Repeat for all candles.
We do not. Repeat: do not condone lighting the candles for obvious reasons. But, we couldn’t resist one shot.
Saint Lucia, bringer of light.