St. Lucy's Day Date in the current year: December 13, 2016

St. Lucy's Day December 13 is St. Lucy's Day, the fest that honors martyr Lucia of Syracuse. The feast is celebrated in some regions of Italy, but it gained special recognition in Finland and Scandinavia.

St. Lucia's Day was originally observed on winter solstice, on the shortest day of the year. But with calendar reforms the feast was shifted to December 13.

Traditional festive procession mostly involves girls and women in white dresses. The woman, who is chosen to represent St. Lucy (in Scandinavia she is called Lucia), apart the white dress wears a red sash with a crown or wreath of candles on her hand. They symbolize the fire, that refused to take Lucy, when she was sentenced to be burned. Boys also can participate in procession, but they play different roles, associated with Christmas.

Swedish custom to celebrate St. Lucy's Day spread to other countries of Scandinavia, that is why the observance of the feast is mostly alike in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. According to the custom, the eldest daughter should wake up early and wear her white robe, red sash and a wire crown with nine candles. She wakes up the family, singing Sankta Lucia, and serves everyone coffee and saffron buns.

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Religious Holidays, Folk Festivals


Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark


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