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St Lucia's Day Breakfast

My Grandmother's family was Swedish so I always like to have something from her side of the family in our Christmas celebrations

 

A thousand years ago in Sweden, King Canute declared that Christmas would last a month, from December 13, the feast of St. Lucia until January 13, or Tjugondag Knut (St. Canute's Day). No one is quite sure why Lucia, a 4th century Sicilian saint, came to be so revered in Sweden. Some say she once visited the country, and others believe missionaries brought stories of her life which entranced the Swedish people. Her story is that in the days of early Christian persecution, Lucia carried food to Christians hiding in dark underground tunnels. To light the way she wore a wreath of candles on her head. Eventually Lucia was arrested and martyred.
On her feast day the eldest daughter in each family dresses in a white dress with a red sash, and wears an evergreen wreath with seven lighted candles on her head. She (very carefully) carries coffee and buns to each family member in his or her room. Many schools, offices, and communities sponsor Lucia processions in which carol are sung and everyone thanks the Queen of Light for bringing hope during the darkest time of the year.
On Christmas Eve a certain Christmas gnome, known as the tomte, emerges from his home under the floor of the house or the barn. The tomte was credited with looking after the family and their livestock.. He is believed to come with presents. In many households nowadays, someone disguised as a gnome comes on Christmas Eve with a large sack of presents.
 
The tree is kept watered and many housholds keep their tree until the very end of the holliday, which falls on the twentieth day after Christmas, Knuts day in the swedish calendar.

Now the light is carried forth,
proud on its crown,
in every house and home,
the song shall ring.
Now the light is carried forth,
proud on its crown,
in every house and home,
the song shall ring.
On this Lucia day,
our circle of friendship is greeted,
Saint Lucia,
Saint Lucia.
On this Lucia day,
our circle of friendship is greeted,
Saint Lucia,
Saint Lucia.

Song for Saint Lucia (English Translation)

The night goes with weighty step
round yard and hearth;
the forest broods,
as the sun sets
There in our dark house,
appears with lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.  
 

The night goes great and mute.
Now one hears its wings
in every silent room
murmuring as if from wings.
See on our threshold; there she stands
white-clad with lights in her hair
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia

 

Swedish Pancakes - John is an expert pancake maker.  Swedish pancakes are essentially crepes served with Ligonberry preserves (which you can get at Ikea).

 

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