For eight days in December, this year starting December 21, Jewish people around the world celebrate Chanukah, the “festival of lights.” They light a menorah – a special candleholder – in remembrance of an ancient miracle in which one-day’s worth of oil burned for eight days in their temple. As part of the celebration, they eat potato pancakes called latkes, sing songs, and spin a top called a dreidel to win “gelt” – chocolate coins.
St. Lucia Day
December 13 is St. Lucia Day, a holiday that celebrates this third-Century saint, in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Bavaria, Italy, Malta, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovakia and St. Lucia, West Indies. Many girls dress up as “Lucia brides” in long white gowns with red sashes, and wear a wreath of lighted candles on their heads. They sing songs and offer coffee to their family, along with twisted saffron buns called “Lucia cats.”