Monday, December 10, 2012

Saint Lucy's Day

This is a repost from last year.  I thought it was worth repeating for those who may have missed it. I deleted some things that do not affect the essence of the post.

Seems my thoughts have been on the past, and various family traditions that were honored which came out of devotions to religious "feast" days  leading up to Christmas.

The most important one for us was the Feast of St. Lucy on December 13th.  St. Lucy is know as the Patroness for Eyes.  My grandmother was blind from diabetes, so many a candle was lit in church and many a prayer said near her statue.

St. Lucy
No pasta was eaten on this day.  But we would have a dessert made with hard wheat berries, soaked first then mixed with ricotta cheese, chocolate and a sprinkle of cinnamon called cuccia.  Chickpeas are popular for this feast day.  We would have chick pea fritters (panelle).  

In Scandinavian countries, little girls dress up 

from Pinterest

and sweet buns in the figure 8 shape to represent eyes are eaten.

from Mary at One Perfect Bite. blogspot via Pinterest
I fondly remember these old family traditions.  I might actually have a panelle special this Thursday, but from a restaurant which originated in my old neighborhood of Gravesend, Brooklyn, NY called Joe's of Avenue U.  They recently opened another place on Staten Island (yeah!). 

Chickpea fritters topped with ricotta cheese 

All words in yellow have links to recipes, etc.

I hope your Christmas prep is going well and you are getting things done in enough time to enjoy the true meaning of the Season.  



  1. Barbara, thank you for sharing this again because I am one who missed it the first time. What a rich and wonderful tradition, which carried even more special meaning of you because of your grandmother. Hope that you get to enjoy your panelle this week!

  2. This is a very special tradition, Barbara. I'd like to try St. Lucia's Buns myself.

  3. I read it again because it was so unfamiliar to me that I couldn't remember the details. I think it is a wonderful tradition and the food sounds so good!

  4. Dear Barbara, in many areas of Italy during the feast of St. Lucy children receive gifts and toffees. The tradition tells that St. Lucy makes a " candy way" that children must follow to find the presents.

  5. Dearest Barbara,
    I learned how important Christmas is for western people through blogging. Thank you very much for sharing these important day and a picture of St. Lucy is beautiful☆☆☆
    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

  6. What beautiful traditions! I love the traditions of childhood that bring back such warm memories, whatever they may be. These are just lovely and yummy looking too.

  7. I read about this several years ago in a novel. What delicious food items! Enjoy!

  8. OK, if you posted this last year, I do not remember it. It must be that FIFTY thing. I just love this whole thing. I knew just a smidge about St. Lucy's Day, basically from teaching cultural traditions as a teacher and learning about Sweden. But this other stuff with the cool food, is either new or forgotten to me. I really want to try that chick pea fritter thing. (In my world, anything with ricotta is worth a try.)

  9. I love this post:) an dthe buns look delicious!!

  10. I did have a friend's daughter show up in her white dress and crown with some St. Lucia buns. It was really nice. What special memories we have about special days and food. Are you of Italian heritage? Some of the best festivities, family, and food are entertwined in Italian families. Joni

  11. Hi Barbara, even though I'm Catholic, I never learned much about St. Lucia where I grew up. I love hearing about traditions. I know for sure I'd love eating one of those buns.

  12. Such a lovely post Barbara. The buns are so different. Thank you for the link to the recipe.
    Traditions are so special and are meant to carry on. Thank you for sharring Barbara.

  13. Such beautiful traditions. Lovely post, Barbara.

  14. Barbara, what delightful traditions! Most of them are new to me, but I'm always excited to hear how families celebrate the holidays. I missed this post last year, so I'm glad you shared it again.

    Thank you again, friend, for your prayers and kind words over the past couple of weeks as we awaited the passing of my MIL. Blessings on you during this holy season and in the year ahead.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...