By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (December 13, 2021) – In Issue 2021-235 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, candles light the way out of darkness on this special celebration of a St. Lucy.


Santa Lucia Day is celebrated in Sweden, Norway and parts of Swedish-speaking Finland, as well as parts of Italy. It is the Feast Day that marks the beginning of the Christmas season in these areas.

According to the legend, the 4th century Saint Lucia brought food and drink to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candle-lit wreath so that her hands were free to carry the food.

Tradition holds that each village/town holds a procession led by their own “Santa Lucia”, followed by young girls dressed in white wearing wreaths of lit candles on their heads.  The tradition can also be carried out in individual households where the eldest girl gets the honor of dressing as Santa Lucia and serving traditional pastries and buns to the family.

The celebration is meant to bring hope and light to a dark time of year (replacing the pagan winter solstice ritual) and serve to prepare for the coming of the Christ Child.

Teesdale’s map of Sweden and Norway from 1831 is presented here.

Map of Sweden and Norway – 1831 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.