A “program note” about our 2012 Holiday Show
Saint Lucia’s feast day is December 13th. Under the old Gregorian calendar, used in Sweden until the 1750s, that day is also the Winter Solstice, which comes after the longest night of the year. In every household the oldest girl rises before dawn; dressed in a white gown with a red sash, and bearing a wreath of lighted candles on her head, she brings coffee and saffron buns (called lussekatter) to the adults of the household. Her younger sisters follow her in similar clothes; her brothers join in too, also wearing white, in conical hats spangled with stars. This beloved custom has spread through Sweden to the neighboring Scandinavian countries, and came to North America with immigrants from that region. It is celebrated to this day; for Swedish girls, to be chosen as Lucia for their school or town is an honor on par with being Home-coming Queen in the U.S.