Saint Lucy herself is believed to have been a Sicilian who suffered a martyr's death in Syracuse, Sicily, around AD 310. The traditional celebration in Scandinavia though has a lot of pre-Christian elements in it, like the struggle between light and dark, where Lucia is the light bringer who comes during this very dark time of the year up here in the north. The Nordic observation of this day first occurred in the middle ages, but the modern tradition is around 200 years old.
The choosing of a Lucia has also become a tradition. A lot of towns have their own competitions. And since this is a vintage blog, let's take a look at some of Stockholm's Lucias of the past.
|Ingegerd Hägg, 1942|
|Marianne Hylén, 1948|
|Marianne Lestander, 1959|
|Ingrid Engström, 1960|
As you can see a pretty, blond girl usually wins the title. It's also good if she can sing, since this is part of her job. In my family we usually get up early in the morning to see the Lucia train that airs every year on TV. We light candles in the darkness, make hot chocolate with whipped cream, and eat Lucia buns and ginger bread biscuits for breakfast. A very cosy tradition that puts at least me into the Christmas spirit!