Happy St. Lucia Day!

Well, it was actually last Sunday but I was too busy baking my lussekatter (saffron buns) so my post is slightly delayed haha!:P

I remember when I was studying in Sweden as an exchange student, I celebrated St. Lucia Day in Lund Cathedral. St. Lucia Day is a traditional custom celebrated on December 13th each year in Scandinavia. Its history can be dated back to the 4th century. This is a Christian feast in honour of the martyr Lucia of Syracuse. The legend said that she brought food to the Christians who hid in the Roman catacombs, and lighted up the road ahead of her. The night on this day is also said to be the longest and darkest of the year. So people praise the light and warmth that Lucia brought to the cold and dark winter, and this also symbolises hope in the darkness.

I’m not sure how other Scandinavian countries celebrate St. Lucia Day and whether they do something slightly different. But from my own experience in Sweden, swedes in different cities commemorate this tradition in the churches, at schools and town halls etc. A girl will be selected to be Lucia to lead the procession, followed by a group of boys and girls as handmaidens, star boys and gingerbread men. They wear white gowns, hold candles and sing Lucia songs together. The girl who plays the Lucia figure will have a wreath of candlelights (now battery-powered for safety reasons) on top of her head.

To give you a better sense of what I am talking about, here is a short video of Lucia concert that I filmed in 2015. The song always makes me feel so calm and peaceful whenever I listen to it. I absolutely love it. And I hope you do too:)

As the official starting of the Christmas season, people enjoy this day with many Christmassy treats such as pepparkakor (gingerbread biscuits), lussekatter (saffron buns) and glögg (mulled wine).

My life as an Erasmus exchange student was full of great memories. These were the gingerbread biscuits I made with a bunch of friends 5 years ago at Kristianstads Nation (similar to the student clubs in other universities) at Lund University.

Last Saturday, my Italian friend who I met on exchange sent me a picture of Lussekatter that she baked with her family. I was motivated to bake some and celebrate together with her remotely. Interestingly, I found that my food always looks better before I put it in the oven. But it tastes not bad at all;)

Honestly, I think this year’s St. Lucia Day is more meaningful because the pandemic makes this year particularly difficult for everyone to get through. This year is tough and challenging but I trust that after this period, we will be stronger than ever.

Happy belated St. Lucia Day! I hope you had a lovely festival with your loved ones:)

Till next time!

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