On 13 December, when the darkness of the year is growing ever longer, the Lucia Day celebration of light is most welcome.
Cities and towns throughout Scandinavia (and American cities with large Scandinavian populations) hold Lucia festivals filled with music and candlelight.
The main attraction is always the Lucia procession, featuring a girl clad in a long white gown with a red sash and wearing an evergreen crown with towering candles.
In family celebrations at home, one of the daughters dresses up as Lucia and serves her family coffee, gingersnaps and saffron buns before the sun rises. Lucia Day reminds us of light and generosity, even in the darkness of midwinter.
How to create your Lucia gathering
Lucia is traditionally a simple holiday. It isn’t ever meant to compete with or overshadow Christmas.
Since the holiday is a celebration of light, clusters of glowing candles sit atop white tablecloths, and store-bought paper lanterns shaped like stars hang from windows and light fixtures.
Serve pepparkakor and lucia buns with coffee and cider for a casual Lucia Day celebration.
Fresh evergreen branches instead of flower arrangements make the house look and smell fantastic – make this beautiful evergreen table wreath to adorn your home this festive season.
Materials and tools
- 12-inch wooden wreath form
- 8 large 1-inch wood candle cups
- Ruler or measuring tape (optional)
- Wood glue
- Newspaper or clean garbage bags
- Dark-green spray paint that blends in with your garland
- 12 feet of small-leaved greenery garland, real or faux
- Thin green floral wire
- Wire cutters
- 8 taper candles that fit your candle cups
How to make your evergreen table wreath step by step
- Put the wooden wreath form on a flat work surface. Place the candle cups on the wreath form, spreading them out evenly. If needed, you can use a ruler or measuring tape to help you place the candle cups. This wreath form had eight holes predrilled in it, so each candle cup was placed on top of a predrilled hole.
- Glue each candle cup in place with a small amount of wood glue on the bottom of the candle cup. Allow the glue to dry completely before moving on.
- Working outside or in a well-ventilated area, put garbage bags or newspaper on the ground to protect it from paint. A protected area about 4 by 4 feet should be big enough. Put
the wreath form on the centre of the garbage bags, and spray it with the paint following the application directions on the spray-paint can. Add as many coats as necessary (one to two), and allow the wreath form to dry completely.
- When the paint is dry, add the garland to the wreath. Place one end of the garland on the wreath form between two candle cups. Use about 10 inches of green floral wire wrapped around the garland and wreath form to hold the garland firmly in place. Gently weave the greenery between the candle cups, passing the garland outside one candle cup, then inside the next. Where the garland crosses the wreath form between candle cups, wire it in place. Make two complete circles around the wreath. On the second time around, go on the opposite side of each cup so that the candle cups are completely surrounded.
- When you’ve completed two full circles, wire the end of the garland in place. Use the wire cutters to cut small sections of the remaining garland (2 or 3 inches long), and tuck them into the centerpiece to make it fuller and cover any bare spots or wires that are visible.
- Fit the tapers into the candle cups, and place on the table.
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(c)2016 By Melissa Bahen. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Scandinavian Gatherings; From Afternoon Fika to Midsummer Feast 70 SIMPLE RECIPES & CRAFTS FOR EVERYDAY CELEBRATIONS: 70 Simple Recipes and Crafts for Everyday Celebrations by permission of Sasquatch Books.