Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sankta Lucia's Lussekatt

Today is the Christianized feast day of Sankta Lucia (St. Lucy), the ancient Scandinavian Goddess of the Winter Solstice.


When dawn breaks after the longest night of the year, the eldest daughter traditionally has the honour of wearing Sankta Lucia's Crown of Light while awakening her family with coffee and sweet buns.


These sweet buns are called Lussekatt which means St. Lucy buns or, more literally, St. Lucy cats. Saffron makes the buns golden like the returning sun. They are shaped like an "s" and have raisins at the centre of each sacred spiral. Is the "s" meant to stand for sun or solstice? Or is the shape actually meant to represent a curled-up, sleeping cat?


I know which theory Her Royal Highness subscribes to.

32 comments:

Samantha Stephens said...

No Way! You mean to tell me Christians hijacked ANOTHER goddess and made her just a saint? (Note worthy: They don't claim she was a whore who became a good girl!) If she had been a he, who knows, maybe "he" would have been another god son? Thanks for the info. If we are voting, I'd say they are cats buns.

Lois said...

I LOVE that! The buns, the saffron, the sleeping cats. The crown of candles is pretty cool, too. Meow.

DEZMOND said...

I believe in the second theory too like HRH :)

mxtodis123 said...

Those buns look fantastic. Will have to find a recipe.
Mary

Jane of The Jewels said...

Tee hee!! I'm with HRH. Those scrumptious buns are making me hungry :)

Robin Larkspur said...

I love me some cat buns!

Adam said...

it's funny how many traditions are borrowed

Ken said...

While the idea of a crown of candles seems awesome, I can't imagine that it's all that practical? What with all of the dripping hot wax, and , well.....it's on fire!

I do like the idea of waking up to coffee and sweet buns though. :)

Linda Wildenstein said...

I'll vote for cat buns.
A couple of times when Shelley was little I had her dress up and do St. Lucia. Of course way back then my whole family thought I was touched in the head. Now of course all these years later....they know I am. The neighbors across the street celebrate this day and we got a 4:45 wake up call this morning with a knock at the door. Their middle daughter got the honors this year and wow, that early nothing seems real. It was fun anyway.
Yep, cat buns it is....Oma Linda

Elsie The Writer said...

Oh my gosh, I want those buns, the toasty buns, not the cats....

jaz@octoberfarm said...

nice buns!

Wendy S. said...

Such a beautiful tradition. I don't think my girls would like it very much but they might like the buns.

Francie M said...

How wonderful that he daughter of the family did the honours. Certanly harkens back to earlier times. Buns look very yum!

Kathy said...

Loved reading this so much I posted it to my facebook page to share with my friends, both Pagan and Christian.

JACKIESUE said...

we should be used to that by now

CraveCute said...

The cat buns are pretty cute, like curled up little cat tails! St. Lucia is big here in the Twin Cities! They had a girl on the news this morning in the crown with electric candles not real flaming ones. Where's the fun in that?

Laeli said...

My people! I love that they celebrate this holiday.

Jim said...

Good tradition that I didn't know was originally from ancient mythology.

Melanie said...

i like this one!!! perhaps next year...

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

You had me at coffee and sweet buns! Mmmmm...mmmm.... I think that they're shaped like a sleeping cat!

AlbertaMama said...

Thank you for teaching me something new today! :)

mrsduncanmahogany said...

Those buns look divine!

Sarita Rucker said...

I've thought before that wearing candles (fire!) on my head sounded terrifying.

But maybe I'll see if I can find some sweet buns for the solstice...

Yvonne said...

Interesting post. I used to bake homemade St. Lucia buns.

Riot Kitty said...

My cats would totally be into those buns!

laughingwolf said...

living in sweden as a young pup, we joined in :)

DWei said...

Those buns look good, except the raisins. I hate raisins. :P

G. B. Miller said...

Movie flashback!

Saw a hilarious version of this holiday in the movie "The Ref" starring Dennis Leary and Kevin Spacey.

Magic Love Crow said...

I'm with HRH ;o) Those buns look yummy!

Guillaume said...

Thank you for reminding me about Saint-Lucia (sadly too late to mention it on my own blog). We had for a year a Swedish student who came to our house, we call her "our sister" to this day, and she made the very same buns! We had them before and after Saint-Lucia, they were our snacks for our Dungeons & Dragons games. So cool! And delicious.

Jeanne said...

Gomez totally agrees with HRH! :0)

SUZY8-TRACK said...

Those buns look soooo gooood!