On Sunday 16th December, I awoke to the first snowy day in 2018 in Linkoping. The Christmas mood had engulfed the city since the beginning of the month when the Christmas lightning ceremonies were held at the city center with much pomp and glamour. But with the snow came the real Christmas spirit. Winter was finally here. Literally arrived.
Within the past few days, I have observed with admiration several Christmas traditions in Sweden. Notable among them is the Lucia celebration. This famous tradition is celebrated every year on 13 December.
The Lucia tradition can be traced back to AD 304 when St Lucia of Syracuse was martyred. She brought food and aid to Christians who went into hiding for fear of persecution. She used a candle-lit wreath to light her way so that her hands remained free to carry as much food as possible.
The Lucia performance is made up of children clad in beautiful white gowns. The procession is led by a girl who plays Lucia with a crown of electric candles in a wreath on her head. She is followed by her handmaidens, each carrying a candle. Also in the procession are star boys who carry stars on sticks.
This years Lucia celebration was observed by the LiU medical faculty outside of Delifresh at the Campus US. Students and lecturers converged at Rönnen after the Lucia performance to have lussekatter ( Lucia saffron bread), coffee and tea.
I will be sharing with you all the wonderful Christmas dishes I have had the opportunity to taste soon. So watch out for that.