St Lucia Celebrations
The tradition has both religious and pagan origins. The religious roots hark back to the Italian martyr Saint Lucia of the 300s who fed the poor and had her eyes torn out for consecrating her virginity to God. Strangely the traditional song ‘Sankta Lucia’ is sung to the tune of a Neapolitan boating song. Lucia is also a pagan mystical figure, a bearer of light in the long, dark Swedish winters. Songs centred on this myth speak of the light dispelling or relieving the relentlessness of the dark.
St Lucia was celebrated beautifully by families who came together in Frenchs Forest last month. It was a relaxed affair with glogg (spiced mulled wine) and a range of traditional foods on offer including ginger snaps and saffron buns. The children took centre stage. Parents played games with them around the tree. The St Lucia parade with the children and their mothers followed, during which they sang a range of traditional Swedish songs. Then of course Santa came and handed out the presents.