All over Sweden, schools, workplaces, towns and homes are planning their Lucia celebrations. Lucia, the bearer of light in the dark Swedish winter, has been celebrated in Sweden for centuries. Lucia used to be blonde and blue-eyed. Isolde Palombo, 21, a molecular biology student, is far from blonde. But that didn’t stop Stockholmers voting her Lucia this year, according to sweden.se.
Agneta Lilja, lecturer in ethnology at Södertörn University College Stockholm, says festivities are far more civilized than they used to be:
"In agrarian society people used to dress up as monsters and wander through the neighborhoods, singing and drinking. It has become a cultural phenomenon because we have honored the tradition for so long, especially in schools.”