Lucia buns, also called saffron buns and lussekatter in Norwegian, are part of the Lucia day celebrations in Norway.  St Lucia day was brought to Norway when the Catholic church spread through out the land.  This day was marked on the Primstav and was confused with the previous ‘devils’ night as the celebration fell on the darkest day of the year, and because the word Lucia was similar in name to Lucifer.  In modern times the meaning of Lucia has returned to the Latin word, ‘light’.

When Norway became it’s own country, the older traditions such as St Lucia day from the old Swedish rule, were almost forgotten.  However, after the wars, Norway gradually started re-celebrating Lucia day largely because of Swedish immigrants and the activity is now held in almost every kindergarten and primary school through out the country.  To read more about the history and to get the recipe we used for our Lucia buns visit the post Saint Lucia Day.

Lucia buns have the name ‘katter’, (as in lussekatter), because of their curling shape or ‘cat tails’.  (Cats were seen as a demonic creature during the Nordmen times.)  Today the buns have many designs which incorporate the curled ends.  Below are just a few common designs which I have discovered over the years:

 Julegris – Christmas Pig
This is the most common design of Lucia buns.

Lussekatt – Lucia Cat

Gullvogn – Gold Wagon

Lussekake – Lucia Cake

 Luciakrone – Lucia Crown

  Prestens hår – Priest’s Hair

 Soldatgutt – Solider Boy

 Julekyse – Christmas Bonnet

Happy Lucia baking! 

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