Lucia: Our tradition
The word Lucia comes from the Latin word lux, meaning light.
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According to folklore, December 13 a dangerous night because many supernatural powers were in motion then. It is even believed that animals could speak during the Lucia night. All Christmas preparations would be ready to Lucia Day and it was celebrated with eating and drinking a little extra. Even the pets were given extra feed.
Lucia is one of the few festivals in the Scandinavian protestant countries that is named after a saint: St. Lucia, the patron saint of Syracuse, who died in 300’s, and the name of the festival of lights is a recent phenomenon than the actual celebration.
Lucia celebration and related traditions have undergone development through the centuries; Around 1900 established a common and widespread Lucia tradition in Sweden.
A common ‚Lucia procession consists of a suite singing songs and ballads with Lucia, Staf- and Christmas theme.
The modern Lucia procession always have a Lucia, dressed in white with crown with live candles on her head and a red ribbon around her waist. Lucia is followed by the terns, wearing the same long white robes like Lucia but with tinsel and garlands in their hair and sometimes even glitter or ribbon on their waist. Star boys performing Staffan jingles usually follows too.
When a Lucia train is made up of children it often have elves and sometimes gingerbread men too.