Glad Lucia allihopa! (that means Happy St. Lucia in Swedish)
What is St. Lucia, you ask? Well, many associate the holiday with candlelit processions with boys and girls clad in white gowns singing carols, and one very special little girl (the bearer of Light as they call it) who gets a crown of candles on her head and a red sash for the waist. The special crown is made of Lingonberry branches which are evergreen and used to symbolize new life in winter. Schools usually have their own St. Lucia’s, but most towns and churches choose a girl for their own processions.
Aside from the festivities, St. Lucia is heavily associated with fika (of course), where saffron- flavored buns called Lussekatters are formed and baked in the shape of a curl-up cat with raisins as eyes. Swedish gingersnaps are definitely also a must, along with sips of Swedish Glögg (spiced mulled punch, much like the German Gluhwein- available alcohol-free or alcoholic) and Julmust (a Swedish soda beverage that comes around near the Christmas holidays).
Below are some snapshots from my very own celebration of St. Lucia this year with some wonderful Swedish friends.