Santa Lucia…in the Netherlands

I’m amazed at how many events are happening this period. Sinterklaas and Christmas parties. An amazing time of culture and learning for me.

Today it is the perfectly timed Scandinavia Santa Lucia celebration, and the American School of the Hague, with its large Scandinavian community is putting on a show . I also say perfect because this afternoon, I head north (nordic north for the first time ever) for a relaxing, albeit cold weekend in Copenhagen with my friend, I’ll try to tweet if I can!


Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia, 283 – 304) was a wealthy young Christian martyr who is venerated as a saint by both Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox Christians. Her feast day in the West is 13 December, by the unreformed Julian calendar the longest night of the year; with a name derived from lux, lucis “light”.

She is the patron saint of those who are blind. Saint Lucy is one of the very few saints celebrated by members of the Lutheran Church among the Scandinavian peoples.

It is celebrated in Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Finland, Malta, Italy, Bosnia, Iceland, Bavaria and Croatia. In traditional celebrations, Saint Lucy comes as a young woman with lights and sweets. It is one of the few saint days observed in Scandinavia. In some forms, a procession is headed by one girl wearing a crown of candles (or lights), while others in the procession hold only a single candle each.

IMG_2943Of course I was there to watch a bit of the procession and see LOADS of food from all around Scandinavia.

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Now I’ll give you the summary upfront – it was ALL sweet stuff, save for …..

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One savory tart! No one, least of all me, was complaining!


Cakes were everywhere, in every form. Wholesome;

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Festive and gaily decorated.

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Breads were in no short supply either; you can imagine all the cinnamon and cardamom scents, wafting and permeating the air.

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And so were cookies.

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And sweets.


Pretty decorations..

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And loads of stalls, with goods for sale! Cute angels…

IMG_3132And bear pate! Yes, bear pate. And no, I didn’t buy it.

IMG_3146The Swedish women were dressed in traditional swedish dress.

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And Christmas decorations….cute and cheerful. Nice, warm sweaters, mulled wine aka  Glogg.

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This nice guy  told me more about Santa Lucia.

IMG_3048And this lady, posed for me in her pretty hat.

IMG_3174I did enjoy some non-alcoholic glogg. With almonds and raisins in it, which I had to eat with a spoon…

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By the time the procession made it to the room, I was sated….and I hadn’t had anything to eat yet. Honest. Too busy taking photos.

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Fantastic morning and now I need to dash…or I’ll miss my flight.

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See you soon!  Back sunday!
[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Santa Lucia…in the Netherlands – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. Thanks. It was a fun event and the food was tasty and in abundant supply

    Kari, wow; 1/2 swedish. I’m glad you remember it fondly

    Shayma, I will say hello for you when I see her!

    Thanks Celia, Christine.

  2. say hello to the mermaid lady for me! have a wonderful time. all the photos are so pretty, the one with the girl with the candles on her head is so cool!

  3. This is great!I am half swedish and dressed as St. Lucia in elementary school around Christmastime 🙂 I loved it and this post brings back memories! Everything looks so yummy. Wish I could go!

  4. Live from Copenhagen:

    Sarah 🙂 Thats what food blogging friends are FOR!

    Mimi – my friend and I thought it would be gamy but….courage failed us to try! Maybe for our next indoor camping trip 🙂

    Rebecca, as long as you bring Jasmine, you’re more than welcome, ok?

    The ungourmet, I’m in Copenhagen, as I write…and it is nice. Loads of water, trees, I can’t really describe what the landscape resembles…it is also past 3pm and it is getting DARK!

    peachkins – thanks

    Kate – this celebration was in the Netherlands, my kids go to the American School, which has a large Scandinavian community. It was really nice to see the kids and hear the songs!

  5. Copenhaven! Wonderful! Photos. We want photos.

    Was this St. Lucia celebration in the Netherlands? I’m interested in the fact that the cards with names and ingredients are all in English…

    Bon Voyage!!

  6. I love all of your wonderful photos. What a great celebrations with all of the yummy treats! I love the sweaters you showed, they look so warm and cozy! I would love to visit this part of the world. I am part Norwegian and my husband is part Finnish.

  7. I have to agree when I see your posts I just have to have a look. I have eaten bear before, the meat was quite tough and gamy. Not to sure how the pate would taste, but I would give it a try.

  8. You are a bad influence! I am supposed to be doing my caterpillar cake but I spot you in my google reader and cannot resist looking! These children (and cakes) look gorgeous. I would try Bear Pate given half a chance too. xxx

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