Early on the morning of December 13th each year light overcomes darkness as the daughter of a Swedish household dons a white gown with a red sash and a crown of candles. She wakes her family while singing, serving saffron Lucia buns, in honor of Santa Lucia Day, also known as Sankta Lucia or St. Lucy’s Day.
Santa Lucia Day is celebrated today in Scandinavia and areas of the United States with Scandinavian populations along with Italy. It is one of the few saint’s days celebrated in Scandinavia; the observance also has pre-Christian roots due to its proximity to the winter solstice.
For more information on St. Lucy, see the Oxford Dictionary of Saints, available full-text in NetLibrary. For more information on Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, visit Credo Reference, a collection of 100 reference books available via the library’s website.