Sunday, December 13, 2020

Virtual Advent Tour 2020: St. Lucy

The Earth keeps making its way around the Sun even in 2020 and the time has come again for Virtual Advent Tour, organised by Sprite Writes.

Today is the name day of St. Lucy of Syracuse (283 – 304 AD). She is associated with light and brightness as her name comes from lux, the Latin word for light.

According to a legend, one of her suitors fell in love with her beautiful eyes, so she gouged them out and send them to him, but an angel came to her and restored them; therefore, she is a patron saint of the blind and a protector of sight.

A picture of a woman in mediaeval clothes with a pair of eyes on a brass platter.
Due to various legends telling of St. Lucy losing her eyes either by torture or her own hand, she is often depicted with a pair of eyes on a platter. (Image source.)

Before the Gregorian calendar reform, December 13th was considered the shortest day of the year, symbolising the return of light into long winter nights and thus rebirth and new life, similarly to the winter solstice.

We have a folk custom, especially in the countryside, of planting Christmas wheat on this day – it is believed that if it sprouts by Christmas, it will ensure a good harvest the following year. 

Christmas wheat in a small pot is a nice decorative element in a nativity scene or on its own. (Image source.)

Do you have any special traditions or celebrations on this day? If so, I would love to hear about them.


  1. Happy St. Lucy's Day!

    Hmmm... Wheat, eh? That sounds like a lovely tradition. I'd only ever heard about the Scandanavian customs associated with the day. Yours sounds far less ... potentially catastrophic.

    1. It certainly is a lot safer than wearing candles on your head! ;)

  2. I bet the birds love that wheat when it ripens. This is a completely new tradition to me.

    1. Well, it usually doesn't ripen because a pot is not a good place for it to grow that long, but the point is to have plenty of it later in the fields for both humans and birds. ;) Glad to bring something new to you!


Don't hesitate to drop me a few strange new words! I'd love to hear what you think!