How and why Swedish people celebrate Lucia

Lucia is a historical person who was born in year 280 in Syracuse, Italy. Historians say that she actually existed and that she became a martyr because of her Christian faith. There are many stories about Lucia, and it is difficult to know which one is true. How we celebrate Lucia in Sweden has little to do with how they celebrate in Syracuse. December 13 has been a special day in Sweden in more than 300 years. This is because at that time people believed that December 13 was the darkest night during the year and also a dangerous night. Despite this, Lucia was looked upon as a festive day and night and people had lots of food and some people even had breakfast three times! The modern way of celebrating Lucia comes from Germany where a girl was dressed in a white dress and had candles in her hair. The candles was supposed to be a Gloria and the red ribbon around her waist was a reminder of Lucia’s death. Sweden adopted this in year 1764 and nowadays Lucia is celebrated more as a feast of light and Lucia her self is the Queen of lights.

Lucia on Koh Lanta

I personally loves Lucia! It is a magical feeling to watch the Lucia choir with all the candles in the dark and listen to all the beautiful Lucia songs. At the Swedish school Sanuk here on Koh Lanta we are fortunate to enjoy Lucia even if the setting is a bit different :-). All the pupils and teachers put in a lot of work so that the rest of us can have a proper Lucia on Koh Lanta!