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Educational Helps | 2 Minutes

Educational Helps: Have You Heard of the Feast of St. Lucia?

Lexi Detweiler Written by Lexi Detweiler
Educational Helps: Have You Heard of the Feast of St. Lucia?

St. Lucia's Day falls on December 13 and kicks off the Christmas festivities in Scandinavia. In Catholic school, we celebrated the feast day, but I fondly remember reading the American Girl books about Kirsten Larssen. In her story, she talked about how she dressed up as St. Lucia and served sweet rolls to her family. As the oldest daughter in my family, it was something I looked forward to. 

Unfortunately for 9-year-old me, the Feast of St. Lucia is not as celebrated in the United States as it is in countries like Norway or Sweden, but this year, I felt that we needed to bring some light back into the darkness. Legend has it that St. Lucia once brought food to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs using a candle-lit wreath atop her head to light the way. This allowed her to have both hands free to carry food and supplies. Sadly, she was killed by the Romans for her Christian beliefs and thus became a young martyr. 

It is tradition for the eldest daughter in the family to don a white dress with a red sash, and a candle-lit wreath on her head on the morning of St. Lucia Day. She serves breakfast to her family before sunrise. The traditional sweet buns are called Lussekatter. They are made from saffron dough and studded with raisins. Some say the yellow color of the dough symbolizes sun and light.

As with many Christian holidays, the Feast of St. Lucia originally fell on a pagan holiday, the winter solstice. Rather than focus on the darkness, St. Lucia Day is a festival of light. As we near the end of a tumultuous and trying year, let us remember the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and let ourselves reflect His light for others.

This December 13, try making a paper St. Lucia crown using our template HERE.