Today is Lucia Day in Sweden. As I was the only daughter, I was the one to wear the crown of candles (when we used live ones, we would place a wet rag on our head inside the crown- the crown being made of lingonberry bush or pine branches). I had an electric candle crown and I remember the weight of it so well. I was always so excited to get up early and dress in a white gown, with a red ribbon round my waist. My mom would prepare me. I would then carry a tray with coffee and gingerbread cookies to my dad. At school, one girl would be chosen as Queen Lucia and other girls and boys were her entourage. We would get saffron buns, rice pudding and lingon drink.
Here is a beautiful painting by Swedish artist, Carl Larsson of his family celebrating Lucia day:
For more on Carl Larsson, go to: http://www.carllarsson.net/