Santa Lucia - Swedish Light Queen Tradition
There in our darkened house, threads with silent steps and candles lit, Santa Lucia ......
On December 13 Swedes celebrate Santa Lucia. We sing about the long dark night that is forlorn by the rays of sun and marvel at the lone girl
appearing out of the dark shadows bearing the lit candles mounted on a wreath on her very head. This celebration was fabricated and stolen from Italy where people usually have brown eyes, darker complexion and black hair.
So there is not so much originality with the celebration itself of a blond blue-eyed Lucia claiming to be Swedish. The Lucia with lit candles is known to scare the living dayligths out of Nobel Prize candidates gathering in Stockholm Sweden to receive their Nobel Prizes; the candidates really are in the dark about the celebration
and are known to have thought they have arrived at the pearly gates .....
The Lucia will sneek into your hotel room in the dark of dawn and suddenly appear at your bedside out of nowhere and sing the anglelike song and serve you coffe and gingerbread and rolls spiced with saffron - to us Swedes this is a magic holiday and we all adore the Santa Lucia celebration.
It is of course a dream of all girls to be the Lucia of school class or at work. Mostly there is one Lucia and 6 maidens all clad in white long dresses with a red waistband.
The Lucia is supposed to stride slowly forward, followed by her Lucia maidens and small Santa Clauses that we name "tomte", the little elfs of the barns and the woods in olden times - a somewhat churchly procession.
Nowadays the candles are mostly battery operated. Name one Lucia celebration that was
not frantically proceeded by Lucia crowns not lighting up or half the gear forgotten in a plastic bag on the entrance hall at home while getting up in the middle of the night to go and "lussa" someone.
Now the celebration is getting more modern and we have Lucias representing all kinds of countries´ immigrants in Sweden.