On December 13, Santa Lucia is celebrated.
Here in Italy, Saint Lucia is celebrated in Sicily and in several locations in the North, such as Veneto, Lombardia, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trentino Alto Adige.
Not everyone knows that in many places Santa Lucia steals the show from Santa Claus.
Before the Gregorian calendar corrections, the winter solstice fell on December 13th.
In the countryside, a solidarity custom was widespread: those who had had abundant harvests gave a part of it to those who had had a less fortunate season.
In some areas, for example, after a period of famine, some ladies decided to send sacks of grain to the citizens, aboard a cart pulled by donkeys.
The door-to-door distribution would have taken place on the night between 12 and 13 December and this is how we began to talk about an intervention by the Saint.
In this way was born the tradition of gifts on the occasion of the day of Saint Lucia.
Just like for Christmas, in fact, in many places Santa Lucia is awaited by children, who write the letter with the requests and on the evening of the 12th they prepare a plate with biscuits and a glass of vin santo for Lucia and a handful of straw and a carrot for the donkey who has to carry the classic panniers full of packages.
Having made sure that the children have been good, she distributes her gifts.
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