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You're Invited to Celebrate "Sankta Lucia"!

Enjoy a Special Swedish Holiday Tradition at The [email protected]

The Swedish Club of Tampa Bay and The [email protected] invite st. lucia day illustration you and your family to celebrate St. Lucia Day.  This festive evening program will include reading and story-telling about the history of Lucia in both English and Swedish. There will also be Swedish singing.  In Sweden, Santa Lucia Day marks a special part of the Advent-Christmas celebrations. Come out and enjoy this opportunity to socialize and learn about a new cultural heritage that you may not be familiar with.

Traditional Swedish Delights

While you enjoy the St. Lucia program, sample a cup of authentic "glögg" (Swedish spiced hot wine) and "pepparkakor" (gingersnap cookies) which are the tradition. 

The History of Sankta Lucia

Santa Lucia was a second century Italian saint. In a time when Christianity was outlawed, she made a pilgrimage to a Christian holy place when her mother was ill. Her mother was girls participating in the st. lucia celebrationcured and, in gratitude for this miracle, gave away her wealth to the poor, as Lucia wanted her to. But the government then discovered that Lucia was a Christian and had her put to death.

The belief came to Sweden that on her name day, December 13, she could be seen serving hot food and drink to poor people. In December, the days in Sweden can be very short, and to celebrate Santa Lucia’s Day as a festival of light (which is what her name means) seems a fitting tribute.

Traditionally, the oldest daughter in a family represents Santa Lucia and wears a white dress with a red sash and a wreath of lingonberry leaves with five candles on her head. She may be accompanied by her sisters in white dresses, also. Her brothers may wear special pointed hats with gold stars.traditional st. lucia day swedish holiday celebration

The children serve coffee and special saffron bread to the rest of the family. They walk into the bedroom with the oldest daughter in the front, followed by the next tallest girl, down to the smallest. Then the boys follow with the tallest in the front. As they bring in the Lucia bread and coffee the girls sing “Santa Lucia” (in Swedish, of course), and then the boys sing “Stefan was a Stable-boy.” The children then go to their neighbors and teachers and serve them the coffee and bread.

To learn more about this holiday and get traditional Lucia bread and gingersnap cookie recipies, click here.

Find out more about the Swedish Club of Tampa Bay at www.swedishcluboftampabay.org


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