Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Etsy Blog Carnival is....

We had a choice between choosing between a December tradition from around the world or your favorite holiday recipe.  I've decided I'd try to learn of something new and look to see what kinds of traditions are celebrated around the world in December.  Wow, was I surprised of how many there really are besides the usual ones like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and of course Christmas.

I found one I thought was interesting, St. Lucia Day.  This particular celebration takes place in Sweden, it's one of the biggest celebrations on December 13th.  The celebration comes from stories that were told my Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden.

St. Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD.  The most common story told about St. Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city.  It was told she would wear candles on her head so she had both her hand free to carry things. 




December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and a pagan festival of lights in Sweden was turned into St. Lucia's Day.

It's now celebrated by girls dressing in a white dress with a red sash around her waist and a crown of candles on her head.  The crown is made of Lingonberry branches which are evergreen and symbolizes her new life in winter.



In homes often the eldest girl plays St Lucia for her family, bringing them "lussekatts", St Lucia's day buns flavored with saffron and dotted with raising which are eaten for breakfast.


St Lucia's Day first became widely celebrated in Sweden in the late 1700's.  St. Lucia's day is also celebrated in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Bosnia and Croatia.  In Denmark it is more of a children's day and in some parts of Italy, children are told the St Lucy brings them presents.

Happy Holidays which ever one you celebrate!


6 comments:

Brenda LaBell said...

Although I always love a new recipe, I found this much more interesting, great choice.

Hope your having a wonderful week!!
Brenda

Elizabeth said...

Since I don't cook, I definitely appreciated this! I knew about the Swedish traditions, but not the origin of St. Lucia.
Happy FB month!

JacBerKitsch said...

I love the idea of white dresses and red sashes, it's like The Sound of Music :-)

Judy Nolan said...

How interesting to hear about the history of this Swedish holiday! Thank you for sharing it.

Made by Melissa said...

Very interesting! I never heard of that before.

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