The feast of Santa Lucia (St. Lucy)

Santa Lucia Celebration
Forest Hills Presbyterian Church
Cleveland Heights - December 11, 2010

The feast of Santa Lucia or St. Lucy is celebrated in Sweden, and more and more here in the United States, on December 13th.

Here in Cleveland The Swedish-America Vasa organization presented it's annual program honoring Santa Lucia on Saturday, December 11th at the Forest Hills Presbyterian Church.

There was a procession with Lucia and her attendants, who all then joined in traditional songs sung in Swedish. The Vasa Voices, a choral group, also sang a number of Swedish songs.

Swedish Girls in Santa Lucia costumes

In the very early morning a young girl dresses in a flowing white gown and a bright red sash. Her head is adorned with a crown of twigs and lit candles. In Sweden, the young lady would travel on foot from farm to farm. She brought baked goods to each home she visited and her journey was always complete by dawn.

Every town and village in Sweden has its own Lucia, and of course, it was always quite an honor to be chosen.

2010 Lucia - Elizabeth Carlson

Elizabeth Carlson is the 2010 Lucia

The baked goods the Lucia (or Lucia Bride as she is also called) brings with her is Lussekattoror (Saffron buns).

Symbolically, the candles are meant to represent light (good) overcoming dark (evil). Historically Santa Lucia was said to be condemned to death, by fire. The flame did not harm Lucia, sparing her life - though briefly. She was later beheaded.

In addition to the saffron buns Nordic glogg is served. This is a heated red wine with various spices such as cinnamon and cloves. It also has raisins, sugar and often almonds.

Children dressed for Santa Lucia

Emil and Betty Arvidson at the Sanata Lucia Feast

Emil and Betty Arvidson

Bo Carlsson

Bo Carlsson

Darlene Nelson with a Julbocken

Darlene Nelson with a Julbocken

See more about the Swedish Yule Goat - the Julbocken

Items from the Santa Lucia Boutique

Items from the Santa Lucia Boutique

Items from the Santa Lucia Boutique

Items from the Santa Lucia Boutique

Mark your calendar for Saturday December 10, 2011 for the next Santa Lucia Feast

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