We celebrate Lucia in Sweden. And it is honer of a saint named Lucia in Italy. A girl that had really beautiful eyes that where cut out. She was a so called marture. Well. We Swedes celebrate it anyways. Children and adults dress in white clothes, some are “tärnor”, others “stjärngossar” (star boys), “tomtar” (Santas little helpers), “pepparkaks-gubbar” and “pepparkaks-gummor” and one of the girls is a Lucia. Lucia has a crown with candles lighten, a red stripe on her waist. The red stripe symbolizes blood, Lucias sacrifation. Tärnorna has glitter in their hair and glitter around their waist. The pepper cookie man and women are part of the tradition since pepper cookies are typical Swedish food around the holidays surrounding christmas. Well, other Scandinavian countries also celebrate Lucia, but not many other countries do.
My kid will be a “pepper cookie”-person. I have a costume for that. The other day I overheard that it was accused of beeing rasist. I cannot understand why. It is a very common cookie and it is brown and very Swedish. So I see nothing wrong in continuing using this tradition. My spouse thought of it as rasist today. I think it is not, nor do the kindergarden teachers. I am thinking – is it better to have all in Ku-klux-klan clothes? The “Stjärngossar”, “tärnor”, Lucia and so are dressed in white ku-klux-kan-looking clothes. So what is better? Looking like a nice brown Peppar cookie? Or like ku-klux-klan members? I am just saying all attributes are different and there must be a limit to all this nonsens. Not letting children be blessed in church. Not beeing able to have anything with advent in Swedish schools. Sweden is loosing their traditions due to someone starting all these nonsene accusments of rasism. None of the Swedish traditions are rasist, but they are however gender specific. A boy is not usually Lucia, but that can change. Some years ago I read that a boy wanted to be Lucia at kindergarden. They finally let him be that. I think that is awsome. There is no similarities with ku-klux-klan and Lucia. Nor is there any relation to the colour brown of the pepper cookies. Black people are not called “brown” in Sweden, they are called “black”, even though their colour in fact is brown. Well, no matter what colour of skin the children have they can be any of the different characters in the Lucia train. Lucia doesn’t care about origin. I just think it is so sad that there even is a discussion like this.
My kid will be a pepper cookie. The costume was really cheap, so yes I bought it on last christmas sale for almost nothing. And my child likes the dress. Let the kid have it! Embrace it! Let us Swedes keep our traditions, that is what units us. We have something to look forward to. Christmas and Lucia is a time for joy. A time for unity. For all Swedes, old and new.
So stop calling our traditions rasist. Stop stopping our traditions. Let us have them. Without them we loose our national identity. We have many hundreds of year old traditions. Some are ment to be kept. Even in school. So is Lucia.
In the video the “tärnor” are however not wearing glitter. Having red bands (stripes) is also sometimes on the “tärna”, it depends on the “design”. Here the girls also have green leaves in the hair.
Norweigan kids celebrating Lucia, they also have a different type of outfit. They also talk about Allhelgona-weekend in Norway. That we also celebrate in Sweden. After about 2,5 minutes you see the typical outfits that are very common for celebrating Lucia. The “pig” tradition isn’t a Swedish tradition. In Sweden we have a “mandel” in the porage instead.
Here is a little bigger event with Swedish Lucia tradition.
The pepper cookie man song down below.