Sankta Lucia

The Saint of Light


Sankta Lucia, the Saint of Light, has been celebrated in Holy Trinity/Old Swedes Church in East Wilmington since 1977. The event has been the advent of the Christmas season for many generations of Swedish Americans, their family and their friends. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19,  Lucia will not be celebrated in Wilmington this year.


The Delaware Swedish Colonial Society, and its partner organizations, would like to thank all supporters of the program and we hope you will return to our event in 2021.


The Swedes, who were the first Europeans to successfully colonize Delaware, began celebrating Lucia in the late 1800s. The tradition states that on the 13th of December, the oldest daughter of the family dressing in a long white robe with a red sash around the waist, along with a crown of fresh greens and lit candles worn upon her head comes with light in the dark winter night. They called her Lucia—derived from the Latin word “lux” meaning “light.” Here in Wilmington she comes with tomtar (gnomes), Star Boys and attendants—all of Swedish American heritage.