Santa Lucia Day is big in Sweden. The country celebrates this every year on the 13th of December as it is the longest night of the year or the shortest day depending on how you look at it, at least this was how it used to be. The celebration usually happens in churches and schools. I was happy to have witnessed it on my first year in Sweden, at Hermods. The staff came in singing, walking with lit candles and the school prepared pepparkakor (ginger bread cookies) and julmust (popular Swedish drink during Christmas and Easter).
Lucia is an Italian saint whose name came from the latin word Lux, meaning light. She gave food and drinks to the poor in Syracusa and always carried a candle with her. Thus, the person playing Lucia every year wears a crown of candle and is dressed in white gown. Lucia is accompanied with her handmaids all in white gowns as well carrying candles, the star boys with stars on sticks and have tall paper cones on their heads and santa claus dressed all in red.
It reminded me of the Santa Lucia feast in the Philippines which is celebrated on the same day only that there are only food and drinks, no singing Lucia.