With candles in her hair, dressed in white with a bright red sash, Lucia comes to bring warmth, light, and goodies in the dark Swedish winter.
In Sweden, Christmas comes a night early, celebrated on Julafton (Christmas Eve), with many old traditions.
My personal theory is that Sweden is closer to the North Pole, so it's time-economical for Santa to stop by early. And in fact, he does come in person. A little rat-tat-tat on the door and a jolly voice asks, "Are there any nice children here?"
That Santa, Tomten, comes directly from the American concept of Santa Claus. But there are also tomtar, little gnomes/ mini Santas that visit on Christmas.
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