Lucia Revisited

By Lena Kättström Höök.

Lucia celebrations on 13 December bring a gleam of light in the winter darkness. When there is hardly any daylight at all in the northern hemisphere, Lucia comes with hope of brighter times.

The stately procession with a white-clad Lucia accompanied by her maids, star boys, and sometimes elves became common in the 1950s. But the feast of Lucia goes back much further in history, and it is one of the most varied traditions in Sweden. The cele¬brations can be traced back to several peri¬ods, places, and religions, and over the years it has been both simple and sumptuous, humorous and serious, innocent and in¬decent, sacred and profane, popular and aristocratic, private and public.

Lucia provokes debate when many people claim to know how it should be cele¬brated, who should take part, and in what roles. This book spreads new light on a famil¬iar tradition and invites further discussion.

Lena Kättström Höök is an ethnologist and curator at the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, with responsibility for traditions and special occasions.

Buy the book

Distributed by Förlagssystem AB.
For sale in the Nordic Museum’s shop, online, and in regular bookstores.
Published in November 2016
80 pages, illustrated, paperback
Format: 142 x 185 mm
ISBN 978-91-7108-589-4 (English)
ISBN 978-91-7108-588-7 (Swedish)