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Santa Lucia Story is Part of Geneva's Swedish Heritage

Do you wonder why there were girls in white, with candles on their heads, at Geneva's Christmas Walk? Santa Lucia and her attendants pay homage to our Swedish heritage, as do the cookies they bring.

Among the thousands who visited downtown Geneva for the annual Christmas Walk earlier this month were those lucky enough to see Santa Claus arrive and watch him light the tree on the Kane County Courthouse lawn.

This IS Geneva, so our Christmas Walk also includes Santa Lucia, the Swedish symbol of the season, arriving (as does Santa each year) by horse-drawn carriage. 

This year, Geneva High School sophomore Kirsten Berg portrayed Santa Lucia. Her attendants included Emma Anderson, Victoria Conlon, Jaime Ireland and Nicole Schneider, also GHS students. 

They brought gifts to the crowd, too—traditional Swedish "wish" cookies called pepparkakor. (This is pronounced "peppercockor," according to the Geneva Chamber of Commerce.)

As Santa Lucia explains in the video, custom dictates placing a pepparkakor in the palm of one hand. You make a wish, and then tap the middle of the cookie with your index finger. 

If the cookie breaks into three pieces, your wish will come true.

If it breaks into many pieces, well ... you have more tasty cookie morsels to enjoy!

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