Named after a Sicilian saint, the Swedish Lucia does not have much in common with her namesake. She is celebrated in a variety of ways, but the most common is the Lucia procession consisting of a group of young girls and boys singing traditional Lucia songs.
On her head, the girl or woman playing the part of Lucia wears a wreath of lingonberry sprigs with holders for real candles (battery-powered ones are sometimes a safer option) to give the effect of a halo. She also has a white, full-length gown with a red ribbon around her waist. Her female attendants (tärnor) wear similar gowns and the "star boys" (stjärngossar) wear white pointed hats decorated with stars. Lucia processions are held in various places, ranging from kindergartens and schools to churches and the Swedish Parliament.
Lucia can be perceived as a symbol of the good forces in life and a symbol of light in the dark winter. She usually appears early in the morning, bringing coffee and saffron-flavored buns (lussekatter) traditionally eaten around Christmas time in Sweden. See recipe below