Santa Lucia Day

by | Dec 14, 2017 | Advent and Christmas, Christmas 2017, St. Lucy | 20 comments

Santa Lucia (St. Lucy) was a young Italian girl who was martyred for her faith in 304 AD. During Advent in Sweden, one of the biggest celebrations is Santa Lucia’s Day originating from the stories told by the holy Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden. Traditionally ‘Lussekatter’, St. Lucia’s Day Buns flavored with saffron and dotted with raisins, are served by a girl dressed in a white dress with a red sash around her waist and a crown of candles on her head.

As I mentioned over on Instagram, I wasn’t able to make our annual Saint Lucia Braided Bread, a festive bread inspired by the candle-covered crown she is said to have worn to light her way as she brought food to the persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs, last night or early this morning. It’s the first time in ten years (look at the girls back in 2008!) that I haven’t and I was feeling awful about it. Our children are all so great though… We woke up this morning to our twelve year old, who celebrates a nameday today, in the kitchen baking traditional Lussekatter (Lucia Buns) completely on her own! I’ve always wanted to make them and never have. She did an amazing job!

We may not have been able to light the candles on a Saint Lucia Braided Bread crown this year, but we did light real candles on the crown our daughter wore as she passed out the Lussekatter! 

It was beautiful!

Santa Lucia
Night walks with a heavy step round yard and hearth,
As the sun departs from earth, shadows are brooding. 
There in our dark house, walking with lit candles,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia! 
(Every year we give our daughter a little nameday gift to celebrate this special feast of one of her patron saints. This year it was a Santa Lucia Mug!)
“Early in the morning of December 13th, the oldest daughter in the family in Sweden has the privilege of being the Lucia, wearing a long white gown sashed in red, with a wreath of lingonberry leaves on her hair. Candles – now usually run on batteries – are set into the wreath. Her sisters wear white gowns with tinsel in their hair and around their waists. Boys in the family wear tall pointed hats with stars on them. The “Starboys” traditionally are associated with the three wise men. The children awaken their parents and offer them coffee, saffron-flavored buns called Lussekatter and ginger snaps, called pepparkakor.” – Lucia Morning in Sweden
Lussekatter recipe from Lucia Morning in Sweden

Santa Lucia, ora pro nobis!

20 Comments

  1. Tienne M McKenzie

    Beautiful pictures! I love the blessing of having older children begin to help out with the traditions we've established over the years. Makes it even better!

    2017-12-14 05:32:18

    Reply
  2. Penelope

    So beautiful Jessica! What a blessing your older children are to you. What a wonderful job you've done, mothering and guiding their faith-filled childhoods all these years! 🙂 Joy!

    2017-12-14 11:13:43

    Reply
  3. Jennifer Lundgren

    wow. As an American who is now a Swede, I am impressed. Love the baby crown…….

    2017-12-14 11:50:22

    Reply
  4. Barbara

    Your daughter learned well from her mother! What a gracious young lady. So thoughtful!

    2017-12-14 12:23:48

    Reply
  5. Denise Garcia

    Beautiful! Did you make the nightgowns? I see the dolls in the background have them and a crown too…did you make it all or is there a place we can order from? The crowns, where did you buy those?

    2017-12-14 13:28:24

    Reply
  6. Sunshine

    Beautiful! Your girls did a great job!

    2017-12-14 14:03:50

    Reply
  7. Erin Lewis

    What precious matching pajamas!! Where did you get them? It's getting harder for me to find ones that match both the baby and the oldest!

    2017-12-14 14:36:35

    Reply
  8. Rosalie

    Beautiful Pictures thank you for sharing with Us All Jessica! I was thinking of you yesterday as we celebrated the day! Your Family is so beautiful….Blessings to All ♥

    2017-12-14 14:51:54

    Reply
  9. Debbie

    Jessica you are so richly blessed with such wonderful children! My goodness it is most understanding that you only have so many moments in a day to do all you do for your family, your home and your six month old baby girl…How lovely that your daughter stepped in to help prepare the Lucy Cats for your family's Saint Lucia celebration. Chiquita is a wonder–such a loving thoughtful child to take on this wonderful responsibility. I am sure that she enjoyed making these festive Swedish treats for all of you. You are teaching your sweet daughters the most valuable lesson of selflessness in their vocation for motherhood some day. You are the best example Jessica! Each of your photos are just so precious and the celebration for your daughter's name day looked incredibly special!!! Your daughters (including Baby Grace-adorable) are just beautiful in their Saint Lucia gowns and crowns and so handsome are your sons as Star Boys! I enjoyed looking at all of the meaningful details of your photos. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely Catholic family traditions with us. May God bless you with rest Jessica as you delight in each of your beautiful children…

    2017-12-14 17:38:19

    Reply
  10. Marilyn

    Thank You for sharing this special day. Your daughters look so lovely in their white gowns. Our oldest sister always receives a gift on St. Lucia day. I always enjoy reading how you make everything so special. Marilyn

    2017-12-14 17:49:58

    Reply
  11. Marion

    Your 12 year old daughter is turning out to be a wonderful cook. I love all the dolls you have of St. Lucia. The girls look so nice in their holiday pajamas. MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY,HEALTHY, PEACE Filled 2018. Marion

    2017-12-14 17:52:53

    Reply
  12. Joan

    You and your family had a great celebration of St.Lucia Day. The matching pajamas are lovely. Your son looks cute in his holiday outfit. Thanks for sharing. Joan

    2017-12-14 17:55:37

    Reply
  13. jbc2789

    Wonderful pictures! Our son's mother-in-law made Lucia buns today with the help of our 2 youngest grandsons (aged 2 and 4). The resulting buns were….interesting! But tasted good, I'm sure! I know you're enjoying your girls and all of the help they give you in the kitchen and with the new little one. Thanks so much for sharing!

    2017-12-14 19:18:14

    Reply
  14. fratermater

    Where can you get the St. Lucia coffee cup?

    2017-12-14 21:04:38

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  15. dld

    Your daughters are becoming so beautiful!

    2017-12-15 12:54:42

    Reply
  16. Kristi

    Hello Jessica, I don't know if you will receive this, especially during your move, but if you do and if you have time, I have been searching for a St. Lucia dress for our oldest and they are so much harder to come by as they get older. I think Twinkle Toes' dress in these photos is wonderful. Would you share where you found it and also the real crown of candles? Thank you so much. God Bless your move and our prayers are with you.

    2018-11-02 03:32:17

    Reply
  17. Jessica Gordon

    Sorry for the delay in responding, it has been hard to find time to spend online. Thank you for the prayers! The dress that TT is wearing is actually a nightgown I had purchased for myself and then passed down to her (it no longer fits me anyways after my last pregnancy) for Santa Lucia Day. It's no longer available, but here is the link anyways for your reference: https://www.garnethill.com/confirmation/14947 I wish I would have purchased a couple as I need a larger gown for my 13 year old this year too! I'm pretty sure I ordered the real crown with candles from Hemslojd, but I'm not 100% positive. It was an expensive, but seems like it will last forever. They sell both a seven candle version and a five candle version. http://www.hemslojd.com/xmas_candles/4261.html You do need special candles for it that don't drip at all under normal circumstances. We used the Vio Kanal Candles from Scandinavian Shoppe: https://scandinavianshoppe.com/products/vio-kanal… Hope that helps!

    2018-11-08 04:51:09

    Reply
  18. Kristi

    Thank you, so much, for taking the time to reply and to research the links. I saw your photos on Instagram, of your parents visit and the joy the children took in having them there. You are blessed beyond measure, and your children are blessed to have you as a mother. Thank you for sharing your daily faith with us.

    2018-11-08 07:58:37

    Reply

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