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December 09, 2008

St Lucia day of celebration


13th December every year is the celebration of St Lucia (or St Lucy) – a festival widely celebrated across Scandinavia.  Girls dress in white robes and carry candles in a long procession and sing the hymn about Lucia. The candles symbolise the fire that refused to take St. Lucia's life when she was sentenced to be burned.   Traditionally a Catholic festival, it is thought that this tradition survived in Scandinavia because it is celebrated during the very dark days of winter.

Some people believe that back in the day when us Scandies celebrated Yule (or Jol) at Winter Solstice, it was both a season of giving, kindness and celebration - but also a season of fear of dark forces – the scariest night of all at that time was called the Night of Lussi – Lussinatta.  Some believe that the festival of light is from this time to fend off the evil forces.

Whatever you choose to believe, for us it is really all about saffron buns and trying to persuade Henrik and Seb to wear Lucia costumes and crowns of candles.  So far no luck.

In Sweden, a traditional kind of bun, Lussekatt ("St. Lucia Bun"), made with saffron, is normally eaten on this day.  It’s rather yummy – and we’re serving these all week in our little store so do pop by for your fix.






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