25 years: Lucia tradition and Glögg December 10 2015
DECEMBER 13 - time for LUCIA in Sweden.
Lucia, the bearer of light, is the girl with the candles in her hair and a long white gown. The rest are her maids, and the boys have white long hats with gold stars, called Staffan's stable boys with their own dedicated song.
Every Swede has partaken in a Lucia parade at some point, usually in school singing the traditional Lucia and Christmas songs. For the school ones there was lots of practice, mostly for the song but also where to walk and stand. At the actual event it was not uncommon for a kid to faint as it was early in the morning and you have to stand still for a long time. Do not recall any ADHD in those days...
At home early in the morning on the 13th we dress up in all white, carry candles, and serve coffee and “lussebulle” (saffron flavored buns) and ginger snaps. photo credit: Claudia Gründer
Another holiday tradition in Sweden is to enjoy glögg, a warm spiced wine. Perfect when there is a bit of chill outside - warm and with the smell of the spices, some candles and clementines, instantly festive.
1 bottle of red or white wine
1/2 cup sugar
18 whole cloves
8 whole cardamon pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 piece of ginger (approx. 1 inch)
Lemon or orange peel
1. Mix wine, sugar and spices, then heat.
2. Turn off the heat when the sugar has melted.
3. Cover and leave to stand for an hour.
4. As the alcohol burns off, add 4oz. vodka or cognac.