St. Lucia’s Day is one of the largest holidays in Sweden, and in other parts of Scandinavia, and honors St. Lucia, the patron saint of light. Traditionally, the eldest daughter often plays “St. Lucia,” donning a white robe, red ribbons, and a crown of candles and lingonberry greens, meant to symbolize new life in the darkest days of winter. She carries Lussekatter, sweet buns flavored with saffron and studded with raisins, to her family.
Before the advent of the Gregorian calendar, St. Lucia’s Day always fell on the Winter Solstice, around December 21st, the shortest day of the year. Today, the celebrations take place on December 13th.
Create your own St. Lucia celebration this year with lots of candles, some Glögg and more of these classic Swedish St. Lucia treats.
St. Lucia Saffron Buns
These tender traditional Swedish saffron yeast buns are eaten in the days before Christmas, and flavored with saffron, cinnamon, and raisins or currants.
The traditional sweet braided bread, flavored with orange zest and garnished with an orange juice-confectioner’s sugar glaze, which resembles the crown of candles worn by the St. Lucia girl. Try decorating it with red ribbons and candles as a centerpiece for your table.
Traditional Swedish Ginger Cookies
A Swedish ginger Christmas cookie — like gingerbread — that is deeply spiced and flavored with molasses.
Flaming Mulled Wine
The classic mulled sweet wine drink from Scandinavia is perfect for winter-time entertaining. Commonly served with bowls of blanched almonds and raisins, as well as gingersnap cookies and Roquefort.
From The Daily Meal
A Swedish favorite that is perfect served with sour cream and lingonberry jam.
Looking for more winter weather warming drinks?