Tag Archives: saffron

St Lucy’s Day

So how did Protestant (at most, Atheist in closer reality) Sweden get obsessed with an Italian Catholic saint? I don’t know the history, but I’m sure it’s related to the closeness between Lucia and the Swedish for light: ljus, making it a perfect excuse to celebrate light in the darkest time of the year.

Either way, it’s a set of traditions that is almost impossible to escape. Everywhere are groups of white-clad, singing young women with candles. Everywhere you go, you are force-fed lusekätter: saffron buns shaped like cats tails. By the end of Friday, I was quite lightheaded from Saffron overdose, having had them pushed on me:

  • On arrival at the office
  • At Fika time
  • At a customer meeting

In addition, processional choirs of young women with candles are prevalent. I had one in reception at the office, and Lucy (revelling in the day as you can imagine) had one at SFI. And there was an internal school one before classes on Friday – apparently to be repeated for parents next Friday

You even get them in Shopping Centres:

And almost every window in the city has an arch of lights shining out. All we need now is some snow for them to glitter off.
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