A favorite winter festival, Santa Lucia Day, falls on December 13th and celebrates the life of the Lutheran Saint Lucy and the return of light. In the old Julian Calendar December 13th marked the Winter Solstice, or the longest night of the year.
In many Scandinavian homes, the day begins before dawn. The eldest daughter, dressed in white and red with a wreath of candles on her head, rises to make Lussekatt (saffron buns) and kaffe (coffee) to serve to her parents. Other daughters also dress in white and sons, or “star boys”, wear pointy star hats. This festival marks the beginning of the Christmas season.
At the Vancouver Waldorf School, this festival is often held by the 2nd grade teacher and students and is an in-house celebration. Santa Lucia is a festival of light that heralds the Yuletide where one might find students softly singing and serving saffron buns and coffee in the warm glow of candlelight.
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