Italian St. Lucia Traditions

 The eye of Saint Lucia and the Apulian taralli with icing

Saint Lucia is celebrated in many cities in Italy but also in many other countries of Europe and the World. The Saint Lucia of Christmas is a good figure who, riding her donkey, on the night of December 13 delivers gifts to good children.

For this reason it is celebrated on the day in many different ways with special sweets, with Sweet Markets as in Siena, with different celebrations.

It is fascinating to see how the story of this saint is told in many different ways but always connected to the eyes and light. And for this reason, it is celebrated in what was once considered the longest night of the year.

Among the many ways to celebrate Saint Lucia, it seemed interesting to underline two, distant but close.

The first is the eye of Saint Lucia, called by some the Eye of Shiva.

Commonly considered a stone is widely used and sought after in the production of jewelry. In reality, the eye of Saint Lucia is not a real stone, but a shell of a particular sea snail

This shell has the shape of a disc with an eye-like element in the center.

The properties of this stone are manifold, if we carry the stone with us, to give us a better “mental vision” of things. In Italy the eye at the center of this stone recalls the tradition of Saint Lucia who, in Christianity, is the patron saint of the eyes, ophthalmologists, the blind, and in general of all those who suffer from vision problems

The second thing is the eyes of Saint Lucia: traditional Apulian taralli, typical of the city of Bari. They are prepared in December and served on Saint Lucia’s Day. Made with a few ingredients are small sweet taralli prepared with flour, olive oil, and white wine. Once cooked they are covered with icing based on water and sugar.

In a previous post, we have already seen how to prepare taralli: This time we just have to add a glaze on them.

Do you have any saint Lucia traditions?

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