Sunday, December 27, 2020

Stories & Traditions for Santa Lucia Day

Santa Lucia Day falls on December 13th. This, on the old Gregorian calendar, was the date of the Winter Solstice, thus the celebration of light.

Here are a few photos from our classroom celebrations in years past. In the first year, 2018, we had lots of Star Boys!

gathering supplies

I used a large cookie cutter for the wands
and a small one for the stars on the hats

taping the wand dowel securely onto the star
labeling the points where the stars need to line up

putting a glue dot on each point

Star Boy hat!

the oldest girl is Santa Lucia

In the second year, 2019, the parade was smaller but the Sweet Rolls were received with the same enthusiasm!

The first year I did a wreath of artificial ivy and tried to add (unlit) candles but they were too heavy and kept falling down! So I decided to invest in a real Lucia crown! Instead of a battery-powered plastic crown, I opted for a lovely felt one from the Etsy shop MormorsLegacy. She sells already made crowns as well as a PDF pattern ($7.50).

As far as stories go, there are a few nice ones online.

There are also, of course, picture books!

Here are a few notes on each:

"December" poem, page 28
"January" poem illustration of star boys, page 7
from Around the Year by Elsa Beskow

This gives no information about the holiday but if it's a book you already have on hand, it's nice to get it out and look at those particular pictures.

"Sweden," pages 28-29
from Christmas Around the World by Mary Lankford

This is useful because it gives information about Christmas in Sweden as well, including an explanation of the tomte. If you are also reading The Tomtes' Christmas Porridge by Sven Nordqvist in December, these two books go really well together.

Lucia: Saint of Light by Katherine Bolger Hyde

This book is excellent for the Second Grade Saints block because it goes into more of her deeds as a saint, and highlights her martyrdom. It's my favorite of the group, but I wouldn't suggest it for Early Childhood.

Lucia Morning in Sweden by Ewa RydÄker

This book tells about one family's Santa Lucia Day, including the preparations the day before. It is good for Kindergarten, and brings to life what it would be like to be a child in Sweden celebrating this holiday with family and at school. In the back it also includes some background on Lucia as a saint, as well as two recipes (yeasted Lussekatter Lucia buns and Pepparkakor ginger snaps), the sheet music for a Santa Lucia song and the lyrics in both Swedish and English, instructions on how to make an easy Lucia or Star Boy gown using a sheet AND a more complicated sewing pattern for a traditional Lucia gown. The story itself is a bit dry, but overall the book is a useful all-in-one resource.

If you forgot to celebrate Santa Lucia Day, no worries! People still bake and enjoy the buns all throughout Advent. Our simplified version for a Kindergarten classroom uses Bisquick and is easy for a child to help with!

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

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