December 13 marks a very special day in the Swedish advent calendar. It’s the day everyone gathers to celebrate the wonderful tradition of Lucia. Named after the martyr saint Lucia, the celebration marks the shortest day of the year in the advent season. A little different to the hot summer nights of the Southern Hemisphere – where we tend to be outdoors enjoying the weather – in Sweden, the long dark winter nights are the perfect time for getting family and friends together at home.
Due to the long, dark days, this tradition is about celebrating light, warmth and togetherness, with candles playing a large part. Children decorate a crown of candles and offer coffee, Lussebullar (Saffron Buns) and Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingerbread) to those watching. Everyone gathers around to enjoy this special moment together – the perfect way to bring light and warmth into the home.