Ten questions you should NEVER ask a Swede about Santa Lucia

girls dressed as santa lucia


Female Knights Templar?

Angels of death?

Hell no!

Mamma Mia it’s Santa Lucia and her wing women!

Every December 13th Sweden marches out the unique cast of its Santa Lucia procession.

To the outsider it can be overwhelming but fear not and follow the 10 simple tips to surviving Lucia.

cup of coffee

“Will there be coffee after the procession?”

This is Sweden. Of course there will be coffee!
Just smile and enjoy the show.

santa lucia crown

Don’t ask if it’s dangerous for someone to wear lit candles on their head.

Swedes have been doing this as long as they’ve been making affordable particleboard furniture.

boy in gown with wand

“Why are the boys dressed like Ku Klux Klan members?”

The Star Boy is not a KKK member. The Star Boy is just that, a Star Boy, a boy dressed in white robes and a white dunce hat. See #1

girl covered in red

“Why is Lucia wearing a red ribbon?”

The red ribbon Santa Lucia wears symbolizes the blood spilt by the original martyred saint. It seems like fun for the whole family!
Really, this question is dangerous because it will lead to Swedes reveling that they don’t know all that much about their beloved Lucia. She was Italian. She brings the light. She would have preferred to be blue eyed and blond.

statue of santa lucia

“Is this a religious holiday?”

You can take the saint out of the church, but you can’t take the church out of the saint. Except that you can in this case. Santa Lucia was a martyred Catholic saint, and many Santa Lucia processions take place in churches. However, with many Swede’s being proud Atheists, they prefer to think of Lucia as more of a tradition than anything religious. Just smile and enjoy the coffee.

women in front of Christmas tree


“Is this a Christmas thing?”


“But maybe, yes.”

“Sort of.”

“Aren’t you enjoying the music?”

(See #1)

child picking nose


“Did the children bake the cakes that come with the coffee?”

More than likely you will see the same finger, which potentially baked the cake you are eating sneaking treats from their little noses during the show.

Just think happy thoughts and drink lots of coffee.

ginger bread man


“What were that kid’s parents thinking dressing their child in that crappy home-made outfit?”

Nine times out of ten the parents will be sitting right next to you.

girl angel


“Can my child can dress as an angel, Mrs. Claus or Jesus for the procession?”

NO ALTERNATIVE CHARACTERS ARE ALLOWED IN THE PROCESSION! Also, there will be no variation on the theme (I don’t know what the theme is really but everyone else seems to, so I do not bring it up!)

santa lucia procession


“Who… What… When… Where… Why…”

The first rule of Lucia, don’t ask questions about Lucia.
The second rule of Lucia, do NOT ask questions about Lucia!

Don’t rock the long boat, just go with the flow. Let the Swedes explain whatever small part of Lucia they do understand, and then question nothing!

Why is Lucia blond? She isn’t always
(but hopefully she is).

How is an Italian saint in Scandinavia? She brings the light (or maybe she was studying a semester at Lund).

Why are there ginger bread men here? because…
(can’t you just enjoy the songs?)

In my experience, the best way to survive Lucia is to just keep your mouth shut, and enjoy the coffee. After all, it’s Lucia!

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