December 13 is known as Saint Lucy’s Day. She is known as the Patron Saint of the Blind and those with eye troubles.
The name Lucia derives from the Latin word ‘light’ and so she became linked with sight. Some say her eyes were removed and many artists painted St. Lucy carrying her eyes on a dish. Her Feast Day is on the shortest night of the year, according to ancient beliefs and before science told us it wasn’t December 13, and is another reason for her name being associated with ‘light’. She is celebrated in Scandinavian countries for her association with light and in Italy and other southern countries for her martyrdom and religious beliefs.
In Sweden, for example, the eldest daughter wears a white robe (purity) with a red sash (martyrdom) and a crown of candles (light). She carries palm leaves in her hand as well as biscuits and sweet buns.
Watch the video here.
In Hungary a wheat seed is planted in a small pot.
In some parts of Italy, the country where Lucy or Lucia, her Italian name, was born and killed (Syracuse, Sicily), she brings presents to young children. Children leave out carrots for the donkey that travels with Lucy.
In your part of the world, who brings young children presents and when?
Do you leave out food for this person and if so what?
© ELI s.r.l.