Ideas for Celebrating St. Lucia Day

by | Dec 13, 2010 | Feast Day Plans, St. Lucy | 12 comments

Ideas for Celebrating St. Lucia Day

December 13th is the Feast of St. Lucy, also known as St. Lucia Day (Luciadagen) in Sweden.

In Sweden, the oldest daughter of a family will wake up before dawn on St. Lucy’s Day and dress in a white gown for purity, often with a red sash as a sign of martyrdom. On her head she will wear a wreath of greenery and lit candles, and she is often accompanied by “starboys,” her small brothers who are dressed in white gowns and cone-shaped hats that are decorated with gold stars, and carrying star-tipped wands. “St. Lucy” will go around her house and wake up her family to serve them special St. Lucy Day foods.”  ~ Fisheaters 

Since our second daughter celebrates one of her “namedays” on this feast, she and our oldest share the honors.  🙂

I just noticed that our St. Lucy links and ideas are scattered all over, between our past St. Lucia Day Celebrations (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Eve & Morning), our Little Flowers Meeting on St. Lucy, and “L Week” for the Alphabet Path, so I thought I would try and organize them into one post and add a few ideas from others as well.

Note:  I’ve  had this post in my draft file for awhile now, but just didn’t have a chance to finish it up…  I think I have all the links I’ve added so far in place, but I will probably come back when I have time to add a few more.  Happy St. Lucia Day! 

RECIPES

  • Bake Saint Lucia’s Braided Bread.
  • Serve Cuccia, St. Lucy Wheat, for breakfast.
  • Make St. Lucia Buns, Lussekatter.   (I’d love to hear if any one has any tips on where to buy affordable saffron threads.  I had to scratch it off my shopping list the other day when a small packet was priced at $19.99.)
  • Bake Gingerbread Cookies.  (We will be having some this afternoon while we color and read a few books!)
  • Serve Coffee. 
  • For a quick and easy alternative, you can do like we did back in 2007 and serve donuts for as an alternative to the crown shaped sweet bread, or shape canned cinnamon roll dough into St. Lucia Buns. 

SING

Sing “Santa Lucia:”

The silver star shines on the sea,

the waves are gentle,

the wind is favourable.

Come to my swift little boat!

Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

O dear Naples, o blessed land,

where creation was pleased to smile!

Come to my swift little boat!

Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

Sing the following to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?”:

O, Saint Lucia,

O, Saint Lucia,

Wearing white,

Lighting up the darkest

Lighting up the darkest

Winter night,

Winter night.

Print a Saint Lucia Puppet Song and Coloring Picture.

STORYTIME

In our Basket:

Lucia, Saint of Light

Lucia Child of Light

Hanna’s Christmas

Lucia Morning in Sweden

Bells of Santa Lucia

Lucia, Saint of Light is a new addition to our collection this year and it is such a wonderful book to own.  However, we have listened to this story before.   If you don’t have access to the book, you can download and/or play a podcast of it here!  (Updated with correct link!)

From the Library:

Swedish Christmas

The Tomten

Kirsten’s Surprise: A Christmas Story

Looks intersting:

Swedish Christmas Traditions: A Smorgasbord of Scandinavian Recipes, Crafts, and Other Holiday Delights

CRAFTS & ACTIVITIES

COLORING PAGES & COPYWORK

PRAYERS TO ST. LUCY

Saint Lucy, you did not hide your light under a basket, but let it shine for the whole world, for all the centuries to see. We may not suffer torture in our lives the way you did, but we are still called to let the light of our Christianity illumine our daily lives.  Please help us to have the courage to bring our Christianity into our work, our recreation, our relationships, our conversation every corner of our day. Amen.

O glorious Santa Lucia, who combined the profession of faith with the glory of martyrdom, help us to openly profess the truths of the Gospel and to walk in faith according to the teachings of our Savior.Oh Virgin of Syracuse, be thou the light in our life and the model for our actions so that, after following in thy footsteps here on earth, we can rejoice together with thee in the vision of our Lord. Amen.

Relying on Your goodness, O God, we humbly ask you, by the intercession of your servant, Saint Lucy, to give perfect vision to our eyes, that we may serve for your greater honor and glory. And we pray for the salvation of our souls in this world, that we may come to the enjoyment of the unfailing light of the Lamb of God in heaven. St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, hear our prayers and answer our petitions. Amen.

Sancta Lucia, Ora Pro Nobis!

12 Comments

  1. Suzie L.

    On Saffron … I was going to bake St. Lucia buns, but, didn't have time to even look for ingredients. I do order online, so did some checking around after seeing your comment. The least expensive is probably to 'pick' and gather! Saffron threads are from the crocus flower and there are only three threads on each flower. I wonder how many crocus one would have to plant to get the 1/4 tsp. my recipe needs?? Most of the websites sell it by the ounce, which is difficult for me to convert to tsp/ect.

    Now that I know what it is, I'm going to try to harvest it from the crocus bulbs I'm forcing on my windowsill.

    And I thought cardamom was expensive last year!

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I used to buy very cheap saffron in the "hispanic food isle" they have a spice section.

    I remember reading that they used to used calendula petals in place of saffron.

    Reply
  3. Jeannie

    If you have an ethnic market (think Middle Eastern and Hispanic) within easy access they are usually less expensive. I always get nice authentic saffron from Spain at my local ethnic market for less. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Emma

    About the saffron ,it is very expensive -and i think real saffron from the right flowers always are because of the procedure.
    It is a very special treat here in Scandinavia, most of us will only purchase it and use it for St. Lucia buns " Lusse Katter "
    and maybe for a Christmas bread. The beautiful color and aroma is something very special to my husband and children on this day.
    I usually make one big dough,and we will have half of it for St. Lucia and then i freeze the rest for Christmas morning.
    It is possible to bye different spices that will substitute to color ,but not the taste-
    One very typical thing for the children here to do is to go visiting elderly relatives and neighbors ,or in nursing homes and churches ,they will sing and carry with them Lucia buns and ginger cookies for every one to enjoy.
    And I never use saffron treads by the way, I find it so hard to make it powdery enough to blend well,i always bye it done ,like powder, in a good pharmacy.
    It is so worth it !
    It is night here now, and I will go and pick up after the party
    ,I think will just have one last Lucia bun first with my hot cocoa 😉
    Emma

    Reply
  5. Lena

    you're the best. thanks for making it easy for us.

    we will be using some of your activities and links.

    pax Christi – lena

    Reply
  6. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you all for the tips on Saffron! I am very curious to try it now! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Our Catholic Family

    Do you have a World Market close? I buy my saffron there and it only costs $5 for a tablespoon. It comes in a plastic container so you can easily save what is left over. Keep it in a cool dry place (like a pantry or cubpoard) and it will keep just fine.

    I do a lot of middleeastern cooking, mainly Indian since my husband is from India. And, Indian grocers are another good place to check. My favorite is Patel Brothers. I'm sure you have one close. You can pick up some other things as well, my favorite is the bread in the frozen section…ooohh your sandwich wraps will never be the same 😀

    Reply
  8. Our Catholic Family

    Some people use tumeric as a supplement because it's so much cheaper. Really, there is no substitute for the almost musty flavor of the saffron. I'd never pay $20 though, that's insane!!

    Reply
  9. Kelly

    Bookmarking this for next year. Thanks so much for these posts. You're awesome.

    Reply
  10. Heather

    I am looking for a white dress or robe for my 5 yr old daughter, Lucie, for her to wear on Dec 13th. DO you have any ideas or suggestions on where I could find one? Thank you for this post…it's awesome!:)

    Reply
  11. Jessica Gordon

    I tried to find a link to the ones that my girls have, they came form The Vision Forum, but it doesn't look like they carry them anymore. Another option, though more expensive, is the Josefine American Girl Nightgown for girls. My only complaint about that one is that it is rather thin. Etsy might be another place to look. I hope that helps a little. Good luck!

    Reply
  12. MaryEGuad

    I know this is an old post but I made my daughters their Lucia gowns out of white linen and I used the "geranium" pattern by "made by rae"..

    Reply

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