Today is St Lucia Day!
It’s kind of like the St. Patrick’s Day of Scandinavia, only with cookies instead of beer.
Not growing up in a Scandinavian family, the idea was as foreign to me as corned beef and cabbage was to my husband. It’s one of those holidays that joins what Christianity and Paganism have most in common — themes of light and dark.
You can read more about the origins of the holiday on wikipedia but I want to point out the origins of the holiday in Denmark. It wasn’t brought to Denmark until WWII. As those of you geographically savvy know, Denmark is a small country that shares a border with Germany. It didn’t take long for Hitler’s troops to invade Denmark and start building bunkers along the coast of the North Sea.
The people of Denmark resisted. The United States Holocaust Museum has a fantastic article about the peaceful resistance in Denmark.
What does this have to do with St. Lucia Day? St. Lucia Day was brought to Denmark during German occupation to bring “light in a time of darkness.” While the tradition continues, it began in Denmark as a protest against the German occupation.
A reminder of a peaceful protest and children serve cookies. I would like to apply to be an honorary Dane, please.
And, by the way, those bunkers built along the North Sea? The Danes turned some of them into public toilets.
EDITED to add 2012’s pic!
Eden makes a stunning St. Lucia!
You had me at children serving cookies.