St. Lucy was a fourth-century martyr, whose name and feast day are associated with light.
In Norway, children light candles and bring pastries called Lussekattor to their parents on the morning of St. Lucy’s feast day.
In Sweden, they eat a ginger cookie called Luciapepperkakor. Girls dressed as St. Lucy carry the cookies and other pastries in a procession as songs are sung. Boys play different roles associated with Christmas. It’s believed that celebrating Saint Lucy’s Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light.
In Italy, St. Lucy brings small gifts to good children.
In Hungary, there is a tradition of planting wheat seeds in a little pot on the feast of St. Lucy. Children watch the wheat grow and use the sprigs in the manger of their family’s Christmas crèche. Another tradition is making St. Lucy’s Crown, which consists of two loaves of braided sweet bread shaped into a crown, and topped with cherries, candies and candles.
St. Lucy is the patron saint of the blind, and is one of the most famous martyrs of the Church. Discover more about her here.