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December 12, 2015

Christmas in Sweden and a FREEBIE!

Kindergarten is off and exploring a new country! Next stop - SWEDEN!

What an awesome trip this was. While I teach in a Catholic school, a big part of Christmas in Sweden is the celebration of St. Lucia Day. 

So who was St. Lucia?

 St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith. Saint Lucy is the patron saint of blindness and her feast day is December 13. 
The story of St. Lucy is a sad one. She rejected a marriage and therefore was punished as her faith was reveled (grudges!). The first two attempts failed as they were unable to move her. Finally, guards used their swords to remove her eyes, which ultimately led to her death. (Some say she plucked out her own eyes!) So tragic! But, when they were preparing  her body for burial - her eyes were restored! Now that part may not be appropriate for your Kinders but the rest is! 

A more common story that is told about St. Lucia is her kindness. She brought food to the Christians who were persecuted in Rome and secretly living in the catacombs. Legend has it, she placed candles on her heard so that both of her hands would be free to carry the food. Lucy means light, and for her that is an accurate description.

To honor this - children in Sweden dress up as Saint Lucia. One girl (often the oldest of the family) dressed as St. Lucy with a white dress, red sash and a crown of candles. When the  girls are old enough (12+) the candles are real and lit!

Here is the oldest girl in our class dressing up as St. Lucy! She was over the moon! I hope she will remember this for many years to come.

The girls dressed as St. Lucia often visit hospitals and hand out gingersnap biscuits. Our class visited the classrooms and handed out gingerbread cookies. 

Finally my class headed to the kitchen to make our own Santa Lucia buns. (You can find the recipe in my freebie) and my class will attest that they are delicious. My fantastic aide made the dough for us and then we came down and go to roll out the dough and form them. The best part! These are approved for nut allergies! Obviously check with your parents first, but mine approved them.

It only takes 15 minutes to bake so it was more than enough time for us to color our kids for the globe.

Now as you are research about Christmas in Sweden, I bet a goat is popping up. This goat is called the Yule Goat. If you search "Gävle goat", you will find a giant goat that is placed in the square in the city of Gävle. Each year it is assembled over two days at the beginning of Advent.  The Yule Goat is often a symbol of Christmas and is made out of straw and tied with red ribbon. 

Christmas gifts may be brought by Jultomten (Santa) or gnomes/spirits called Tomte.

Merry Christmas or 'God Jul' from Sweden!

I have created the above FREEBIE as part of a collaboration with the awesome bloggers of Global Glitter Tribe. Hop on over to check out all of the awesome freebies to get you through the holiday season.

Happy Teaching!

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