I recently attended my church's (St. Marks Lutheran, Sioux Falls) annual St. Lucia Festival. This is a ceremony where a girl is elected to portray Lucia. Wearing a white gown with a crown of candles on her head, accompanied by a "Star Girl and Boy" wearing star covered cone shaped hats and passing out little Swedish cookies and treats. (My niece was Star Girl this year!) The candles Lucia wears symbolize the fire that refused to take St. Lucia's life when she was sentenced to be burned. Lucia brings light to the world during the darkest days of the year in Scandinavian countries.
In Swedish homes the oldest daughter brings coffee and St. Lucia buns to her parents while wearing a candle-wreath and singing a Lucia song. Other daughters may help, dressed in the same kind of white robe and carrying a candle in one hand, but only the oldest daughter wears the candle-wreath.
All the tables were decorated with a small flag of Sweden and cloths of blue & gold.
During the festival little boys and girls dressed in traditional Swedish garb perform several different dances.
In this traditional Swedish dance two boys "square off" and simulate striking each other. (I'm not sure the meaning of this one..lol)
The choir performs Christmas songs in the Swedish language.
Finally! The arrival of St. Lucia wearing her crown of candles!
Accompanied by the Star Girl (my niece Chloe) and Boy!
My niece passes out Swedish treats to the audience. Maybe a future St. Lucia??
At the end of the program Lucia buns were given out. They are made with saffron and topped with a raisin or two. Quite tasty!
I hope you enjoyed the St. Lucia festival! These are put on in quite a few places around the states, especially those areas with many of Scandinavian heritage. If you get a chance take one in some Christmas season soon!
Also check out my video of the "Frog Dance" that was performed at the festival here: