Celebration of lights in December darkness

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Photo: Erik Forsberg from Flickr.

Today, Saint Lucy's Day, also called the Feast of Saint Lucy, is celebrated in Norway.

St Lucy's Day is a Christian feast celebrated every year on 13 December, commemorating Saint Lucy, a 3rd-century martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution, who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs using a candle-lit wreath to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible. In Scandinavia, where Saint Lucy is called Santa Lucia, she is represented as a lady in a white dress (a symbol of a Christian's white baptismal robe) and red sash (symbolizing the blood of her martyrdom) with a crown or wreath of candles on her head.

In Norway, as songs are sung, girls and boys dressed in white are carrying lights in procession, which symbolizes bringing the light of Christianity throughout world darkness. It is said that to vividly celebrate Saint Lucy's Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light. Traditional Saffron buns with raisins are served as pre-Christmas treats on Saint Lucy’s day.

If you would like to experience this special Christmas tradition, then you could start to plan your trip to Norway next December. In the meantime why not try to make the sweet saffron buns? The recipe can be found here.