The legend has it that Saint Lucy secretly brought food to the persecuted Christians in Rome who were forced underground into the catacombs. Lucy would carry a crown of candles in her hair so that she could have both hands free to carry food items.
Lucy came to Sweden on the darkest night of the year to bring light to the darkness and serve coffee, saffron buns, and gingersnap cookies to everyone she met. She is now known as Saint Lucia or Sankta Lucia in Swedish. On this day she still brings coffee and goodies to sick people in hospitals and to children in schools. in churches and various organization.
Sankta Lucia still carries a crown of seven white candles in her hair. She is dressed in a long white gown with a red sash. Sankta Lucia is followed by young girls also dressed in white and carrying a candle in their hands. Most often there are also young boys in the procession. They are also dressed in white and wear a conical hat.
There is Lucia Celebrations going on in the Nation's capital as listed on the Internet and I am sure other places with a large population of Swedes.
There is also a Lucia Celebration in Winters Chapel United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The Lucia is celebrated on the 13th December at 7.30 pm followed by coffee and goodies. There are also other Swedish celebrations in Atlanta. Check it out on the Internet.
Often Lucia will make an appearance in the home while it is still dark. It is usually the mother in the household or the young girl(s). Lucia will carry a pot of coffee and sweet buns on a tray and serve it in bed. My husband would be shocked if I should appear in the bedroom dressed in a white gown and serve him coffee and sweets in bed while it is still dark.
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Please visit a Festival of Lights with Saint Lucia in attendance.