Saint Lucia Day

Saint Lucia Day Quick Facts - GB

2024 Date13 December 2024
2025 Date13 December 2025

Saint Lucia Day

Saint Lucia Day in

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Saint Lucia Day History

Saint Lucia Day honours a 3rd-century martyr and patron saint of the blind. Primarily observed in Scandinavia and Italy, the festival is known for its unique rituals, such as the crowning of a young girl in a white gown wearing a wreath of candles. The purpose of the celebration is to honour the memory of Saint Lucia and to invoke the light in the midst of the dark winter season.

Saint Lucia Day originated in Italy and gained prominence in Scandinavian countries. Saint Lucy is associated with light, and her feast day takes place during the darkest time of the year, linking her with ideas of hope and renewal. This resonates with the British tradition of advent, which also focuses on the expectant wait for the celebration of Christ's birth. Lucy's courage and unwavering faith in the face of persecution can serve as an example for Christians everywhere.

In the United Kingdom, Saint Lucia Day is observed through special church services or events held within Scandinavian or Italian communities. These events may involve the iconic procession, music, and the sharing of traditional foods such as saffron buns or ginger biscuits. Saint Lucia Day is celebrated on the 13th of December every year.

Saint Lucia Day Facts

  • It is believed that the tradition of Saint Lucia Day was brought to the Nordic countries by monks and missionaries during the Middle Ages.
  • St. Lucia's story likely originates from Syracuse, Sicily, where she was born to noble Christian parents. After her mother's miraculous healing at the shrine of Saint Agatha, Lucia dedicated her life to serving the poor and needy.
  • St. Lucia is often portrayed with a wreath of candles on her head, symbolizing the light of her faith.

Saint Lucia Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Engage in making Lussekatter (St Lucia saffron buns) or pepparkakor (ginger biscuits), a traditional fare associated with this day.
  • If you’re near the city of York, the historic York Minster usually hosts a Lucia concert featuring traditional Swedish carols.
  • Ikea usually celebrates Saint Lucia Day and other Swedish traditions, especially in their food section.
  • Attend a traditional Saint Lucia Day service, often held on the Sunday nearest to the actual day (Dec 13). You might be able to enjoy a choir of 'Lucia' leading a procession of light.

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