Historic Bluefields

St. Lucy Honored Throughout Sweden

St. Lucy's Day, on December 3, inaugurates the Christmas season in Sweden.

On that day the prettiest girl in the household is chosen to impersonate Lucy; very early Christmas morning she will go through the house awakening the household and giving each person a cup of coffee or some sort of sweetened beverage. Her costume is traditionally a white dress with a red sash, and she wears a wire crown entwined with bilberry twigs -- similar to the American cranberry -- studded with nine candles.

Liturgically, St. Lucy was martyred about 300 A. D. The story goes that Lucy gave her dowry to the Christians -- whose courage she admired -- instead of turning it over to her fiance. The enraged young man informed against her and she was condemned to be burned at the stake:  unharmed by the flames, she did not die until thrust through with a sword.

Lucy is commemorated somewhat diveersely in Switzerland where she is the legendary wife of Father Christmas. Wearing a round cap over her long braids, a laced bodice and a silk apron, she marches around the village with Father Christmas and distributes gifts to the girls while he looks after the boys.

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