Tonight (December 12) at sunset, the feast for St. Lucy's or St. Lucia's Day begins! The feast lasts from tonight at sunset until tomorrow night at sunset.
Saint Lucy or Santa Lucia was a young girl who grew up in Italy in the 4th century. She is one of the earliest Christian martyrs. She was killed by the Romans in 304AD because of her religious beliefs. St.Lucy was born into a rich family but desired to dedicate her whole life to God and to give all of her worldly possessions to the poor. She brought food to persecuted Christians that were hiding in the Roman catacombs. The catacombs were dark and in order to find your way around, you needed to carry candles. St. Lucy wanted to bring as much food as possible to the people but needed to keep both of her hands free. She solved this problem by attaching candles to a wreath on her head.
St. Lucy’s Day is celebrated in many countries. Every aspect of the day has special significance since it comes on one of the darkest days of winter. The name Lucy or Lucia means “light” and she is remembered wearing a crown of candles both of which bring light and hope to the darkest time of winter. St. Lucy is also depicted wearing a white dress which symbolizes her baptisimal robe and a red sash which symbolizes her martyrdom.
A traditional way to celebrate is to make saffron buns. Saffron buns are a delicious sweet yeast bread curled into S shapes and baked.