Today is a very special holiday for our Nordic au pairs: Santa Lucia Day! This holiday is celebrated every year on December 13th—it is a festival of light that marks the beginning of the Christmas season. The symbol of light is particularly pertinent because Sweden, Norway and Denmark are at their darkest time of the year. The day is also associated with the Italian martyr Santa Lucia who helped the poor and lonely.
Traditional Santa Lucia processions are still practiced by these countries today. They take place in popular public places and are led by one child who is chosen as the Lucia. She wears a white gown and candles in her hair and is followed by her posse of “star boys” (stjärngossar) who carry stars on sticks and lanterns and handmaidens who bear candles (tärnor). All of the children sing the Lucia song as they walk together and perform for the crowd. Refreshments served during the Santa Lucia holiday include ginger snaps, saffron buns, glogg and coffee.
Santa Lucia performances also take place here in the U.S. where there are thriving Nordic communities. In fact, there is a Swedish Yuletide Fair happening this Saturday in Boston, MA—home to Cultural Care Au Pair headquarters and many Cultural Care au pairs. If you are in the area, please stop by—Cultural Care Au Pair is sponsoring a booth at which we’ll have kids activities and postcards for sale to benefit the Cultural Care Kids First Foundation.
We hope to see you this Saturday and wish everyone a very magical Santa Lucia holiday.