So today is one of Swedens celebration of the darkest day of the year. When I'm searching for information about this celebration, it's a bit confusing. It is said that it has nothing to do with the Sicilian saint Lucia as I have been told, not that much anyway. It is a mix between pre-christian and christian rites. In the old Julian calender, the 13th december was the darkest day of the year and from that day until christmas the risk of being attacked by evil entities was larges. That was fought with light and singing. It was called Lussi.
Some traditions says that young people walked from house to house to sing Staffan-songs (about a horse farm worker) and beg for treats. Thats the guys with the star decorated cones in the background.
Lucia is the girl that brings the light with candles and often waking up the people in the house with singing and treats like gingerbreads and saffron buns "Lusse-bulle".
source Lucia 1848
So its like any other swedish traditions, a mix between several old and new ones. The picture above describes the modern lucia wich was developed during the late 19th century. Its a very beautiful event when the long row of people with candles enter a dark room singing Santa Lucia (but in a Swedish version) . Other songs are the Staffan song, Lusse lelle, and other christian christmas songs.
Lots of schools are celebrating this. But this year Alfons school choosed to not arrange it at all, because of lack of resources (what on earth is happening at that school?..) I have to wait until sunday, when we will see lucia at the youngest kids swim school. A swimming lucia with white dressed children with candles around the pool is also nice.
Update: I got a link from a friend. This is a beautiful way to celebrate, all allone in the forest.
Something that is not so nice about the tradition is the selection of the lucia. Either the teacher selected lucia and it was always the tallest girl with long blond hair or the teachers favourite. Or they had an election at school and it was the popular girl who won. As I was short and had dark hair I was never lucia. Until Highschool when my classmates forced me to put on the crown and wake up our math teacher with singing and cookies. It was fun. Today, thank good they are more nice to young people. They raffle by those who wants.