Amazing Kids! Magazine

St. Lucia Day

By Evynn Jacobson, age 9, Brighton, CO

 

Around Christmas time my family celebrates a Swedish tradition called “Santa Lucia.” People have celebrated this holiday on December 13th for centuries. St. Lucia was a Christian girl who lived in the time 304AD. She was killed for her belief in Christianity. She would secretly bring food to the Christians in Rome. She would wear bright candles on her head to shine her way there because it was during the winter solstice and very dark. Soon they called her the Swedish “Queen of Light”.

She became a symbol of victory over darkness and poverty. Lucia dressed in a white dress with a red sash around her waist. She also wore a crown of candles around her head. She used both of her hands to carry goods such as coffee, rolls, and more to the Romans.

Now we carry on this tradition with our family. On this special day all the younger girls in our family dress up like St. Lucia. Small children (up to 8 years old) like my younger sister use electric candles. Older children like me use real candles that are held in a wreath like a halo that is worn on our head. We make Swedish cookies that are placed on a tray and carried around to the rest of the family. A traditional Santa Lucia song is played during this time. We do this every year on December 13th.

This tradition has been a special part of my dad’s side of the family for many years. My Farmor, which is Swedish for father’s mother, is my grandma.  Farmor makes us handmade dresses like St. Lucia’s. The dresses that she makes are handed down to the girls of each generation. Farmor has kept this tradition going in our family.

It is believed that St. Lucia has helped many Scandinavians and Italians in times of poverty and famine. I have learned about the Santa Lucia tradition from my Farmor. She has made this a very special tradition for me. My whole family will carry on this tradition – maybe even for generations to come!

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