Coffee for Luciadagen

December 13 Holiday Festival: LUCIADAGEN

Before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, Luciadagen, or St. Lucia’s Day was the mark of winter solstice. The belief is that she leads the way for the sun to lengthen the days.

Her legend began before she became the Queen of Light, when as a young woman she brought food and drink to Christians that hid in underground tunnels during the time of Diocletian. Her arms full, Lucia wore a wreath around her head in which she placed candles to light her way in the dark. In modern day, the feast begins in the morning when the eldest daughter dresses in Lucia’s image and carries a breakfast of coffee, gingerbread, and Lussekatter (buns) to her parents.

NOTE: The painting is by Carl Larsson, 1908. For more of Lucia’s tale go to the Festivals of Western Europe site, which includes a recipe for Lussekatter at or to and search for St Lucia’s Day December 13th.


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4 Responses to “Coffee for Luciadagen”

  1. Katharine Lehmkuhl Says:

    I’m happy Snobology provided a link to this site; I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this lovely tradition. For those who haven’t read about Santa Lucia, there is a surprise, but you will have to peruse for yourself.

  2. Lynn Says:

    Like so many fine traditions, there’s a dark side. I do bake crisp pepparkakor, ginger cookies, and of course serve wonderful coffee, but no white gown and red sash.

  3. Jackie Says:

    The best place to celebrate Santa Lucia, outside of Sweden, is Minneapolis. Being in a dark hall, and then having Lucia come in with her chior, is the best and quietest way to begin the Christmas Holiday.
    It does not hurt that the saffron buns are delious with a cup of good egg coffee too! God Jul to all.

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