Today is my son Jeffrey's birthday #26. Happy Birthday! He was born in Provo on St. Lucia's day in Sweden which is a celebration held every year: December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, in the old 'Julian' Calendar and a pagan festival of lights in Sweden was turned into St. Lucia's Day.
St. Lucia's Day is now celebrated by a girl dressing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head. (Normally electric candles are used for safety!) The crown is made of Lingonberry branches which are evergreen and symbolise new life in winter. Schools normally have their own St. Lucias and some town and villages also choose a girl to play St. Lucia in a procession where carols are sung.
A national Lucia is also chosen. Lucias also visit hospitals and old people's homes singing a song about St Lucia and handing out 'Pepparkakor', ginger snap biscuits. In homes often the eldest girl plays St Lucia for her family, bringing them 'Lussekatts', St Lucia's day buns flavoured with saffron and dotted with raisins which are eaten for breakfast.