On December 13th, one of the shortest days of
winter, girls in Sweden dress up as Santa Lucia wearing a white dress and
a crown of candles . Boys carry a candle and wear a kind of white pyjama.
They wear hats that are pointy with golden stars on them.
In Sweden we do not wear candles anymore because before girls caught
their hair on fire very often. Today we use modern candles with batteries
After lunch most schools close on Santa Lucia day around noon. It is a
national holiday which comes on the 13th of December. There are also
special foods for Lucia's Day like spicy gingerbread biscuits（姜饼）. In big
cities in Sweden there are beauty contests where some women dress up as
Santa Lucia and the judges and the people vote for the Santa Lucia of the
year. In schools people sing Santa Lucia's song. The words in Swedish and
English are in the right-hand column.
Who was Saint Lucia?
was a saint because of her kindness and her love. She was an Italian
Christian who lived in Sicily in the 4th century. Some people believe she
once visited Sweden. December 13th is also her feast day.
The way she became a saint was that a man who loved her and Lucia
didn't like him, Lucia's mother asked her to marry the man but she refused
so the man heard about this and he said he would burn her. But Lucia
prayed to God to have the power to survive the fire. Because of her
kindness to others her wish was granted. The man tried to burn her but she
had the power to withstand fire so the man got a sword and stuck it into
Lucia's throat. Still Lucia survived for three more hours speaking
There is also another story for her being a saint which goes like this.
Saint Lucia was a very kind person and there was a man who loved her
very much but she didn't like him very much. The thing the man loved most
about Saint Lucia was her eyes. Then she gave him her eyes but a miracle
happened she grew back her eyes but this time they were even more
beautiful then ever. The man asked for those eyes but she refused to give
them so the man wanted to kill her and he killed her with a knife into her
Song for Santa Lucia (English Version)
The night goes with weighty step round yard and round earth. The sun's
departure leaves the woods brooding. There in our dark house, appears with
lighted candles Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.
The night goes great and mute. Now one hears its wings in every silent
room murmuring as if from wings. Look at our threshold. There she stands
white-clad with lights in her hair Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia
The darkness shall soon depart from the earth's valleys thus she speaks
a wonderful word to us. The day shall rise anew from the rosy sky. Saint