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Santa Lucia/Saint Lucy Day 2011

The earliest Natural Kids Team post about the December 13 Swedish festival of light called Santa Lucia Day (also known as St. Lucy, or in Swedish, Sankta Lucia) was written in 2008 by one of the team’s founding members, Haddy2Dogs. You may find that post here. The link includes a recipe for the Santa Lucia saffron buns, also known as lussekatter, or “Lucia cats.”  I myself have used this recipe, and will use it again for this December 13. Good news for those who bake gluten-free: By special request, Nicole Hunn of Gluten Free on a Shoestring has developed a gluten free version of the Lucia buns!

While my family is not of Scandinavian descent, the festival of St. Lucia is special to my family. When my daughter attended a Waldorf school, we looked forward to this particular December festival of light because of the procession of the eldest girl in second grade wearing white with candles on her head, followed by her classmates and teachers (who carried wet rags for safety reasons), singing and bringing Lucia buns to each class.

My daughter would have worn the crown of candles this year, were she still in attendance at that school. We’re still going to have a party, and my daughter will wear one of Haddy2Dogs’s Santa Lucia felted crowns. This year, we’ve invited a few friends to join us at home for Lucia buns, coffee, tea, and cocoa. If we’re organized enough, we’ll even gather enough craft materials to help the children make Star Boy (and Star Girl!) hats. We sent our friends a link to a simplified version of the Santa Lucia song I recorded two years ago. You may listen to the full version here at the Parenting Passageway.

Different members of the Natural Kids Team have made a variety of Santa Lucia dolls for display and creative play. Clicking on the photos will take you directly to the shop links.

Armadillo Dreams has a lovely wooden Lucia:

Armadillo Dreams

Daria Lvovsky’s needle-felted St. Lucia wears a jaunty jacket:

Daria Lvovsky

Heartfeltpassion has created a Star Boy attendant along with her Santa Lucia figure:

heartfeltpassion

 

I have made a variety of St. Lucia dolls, which you are welcome to view on my Flickr stream here.

Do you celebrate Santa Lucia Day, or plan to do so?  Please let us know what your celebration entails! As always, the Natural Kids Team looks forward to hearing from you.

Farida Dowler works as a dollmaker and musical storyteller in Seattle, Washington. Her Etsy shop is called Alkelda. Farida was trained as a children’s librarian (her super-power), and is powerless to resist a request for information (her super-weakness).

 

  • http://thiscosylife.com Julie Hunter

    What a beautiful bunch of Lucia figures! My little girls and I celebrated this day for the first time this year. I’m looking forward to it again next week!

  • http://harvestmoonbyhand.blogspot.com Ann

    We live in an rural town that was founded by Swedish immigrants in the 1800s. So, St. Lucia seems like a major focus here each year. Although we’re not Swedish (my daughters are both adopted from China and my background is German), St. Lucia Day has become one of our favorite holidays in December.

    Each year, we visit a local museum before St. Lucia day that’s called Gammelgarden. It is decorated for the holidays with traditional Swedish items, and the buildings there date back to the 1800s (with the exception of the main one with the gift shop). We get a few Swedish treats to enjoy on St. Lucia day, and enjoy seeing the decorations they have displayed.

    During the weekend closest to St. Lucia day, my daughters sing in the church choir; and they do two songs each year – one about St. Lucia and then another one about tomtens.

    The church has one of the teenage girls wear a crown of candles and there’s part of the service that’s focused on St. Lucia.

    At home, we make saffron buns and try to make at least one new Swedish food item each year using the cookbook from the other local church that has an entire section devoted to traditional Swedish recipes – many which have passed down from generation to generation and originated in Sweden.

    The girls try on an antique white dress and a wreath of lights. They also put on the Star Boy hat. I take pictures of them each year wearing the outfits and holding some of the food we made to show how they’ve grown.

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