December 13th marks the feast day of Saint Lucia. This holiday celebrates Lucia of Syracuse, whom folklore tells us was a Roman Christian who helped hide another Christian family in the catacombs. Because she needed her hands free for carrying supplies, she wore a wreath on her head with candles to light her way.
On St Lucia day, the oldest daughter wears a white dress with a red sash and the traditional wreath of candles and serves treats to her family and their guests.
Like many other winter holidays around the world, St Lucia day also symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Celebrated mainly in Scandinavian countries, St. Lucia’s light is a particularly powerful symbol in a place where the winter sun shines for only 3-4 hours each day.
You can celebrate a Swedish St Lucia day at your house by creating these (slightly safer) paper versions. We’ll make a traditional candle wreath and an easy star crown, which is worn by boys.
To make St Lucia’s wreath you will need: cardstock in red, yellow, white and green (or whatever you’d like–we used patterned wrapping paper just for fun).
Cut strips of white cardstock to fit around your Lucia’s head, don’t staple yet. Cut leaf shapes and glue to the headdress.
To make a Star Boy crown you need white posterboard and glittery or yellow paper.
Form the posterboard into a tall cone that will fit on the Star Boy’s head. DO NOT STAPLE it yet. It is much easier to decorate flat, then form the cone. Simply mark and cut the appropriate shape. Cut out star shapes from the paper, and glue all over the posterboard, let dry. When it’s finished, staple into a cone shape.
Hold your own St. Lucia day procession! You can even serve some Swedish pancakes, traditional Swedish cookies or St Lucia buns. Then end the evening by reading some classic Swedish children’s stories like Ronia the Robber’s Daughter or Christmas in Noisy Village.
Trevlig Lucia! Happy St Lucia Day!
Check out more great ideas on our Highchair Travelers pinterest page.