BREAKING NEWS : Silver Alert issued for Trent D. Thomas of Fort Wayne Full Story

Sweden's St. Lucia's Day holiday goes gender neutral

St. Lucia's Day, a winter holiday traditionally observed on December 13 in the Scandinavian countries, is ge...

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 5:13 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2018 5:13 PM

St. Lucia's Day, a winter holiday traditionally observed on December 13 in the Scandinavian countries, is getting a modern update.

The city of Malmo, Sweden has announced that for the first time ever, it will not consider gender when casting their "Lucia."

Continents and regions

Europe

Gender roles

Northern Europe

Sex and gender issues

Society

Sweden

Gender equality

Malmo

Caribbean

St. Lucia

The Americas

The holiday, which often coincides with the winter solstice, depicts St. Lucia -- Lucy in English -- as a young girl in a white dress and red sash, with a wreath of candles on her head.

Often, the selection of Lucia has been compared to a beauty pageant, and some have criticized officials for preferring pale, blonde Lucias. This year, Malmo is rethinking the idea of Lucia completely.

"Before, we have always asked for a female, but we decided not to do that this year. It's because we realize now that people don't always identify with a gender," Viveca Byhr Lindén, who organizes Malmo's St Lucia festivities, told The Local about the casting change.

Now, Lindén and her team in Sweden's third-largest city will choose a Lucia based on good deeds and civic engagement rather than on photos. It's fitting, perhaps, as Lucia is the patron saint of the blind.

The official announcement naming Malmo's 2018 Lucia will be made on November 30.

The move to eliminate gender as part of the choosing of a St. Lucia is just the latest step in Sweden's national efforts to reach gender equality.

The nation currently ranks fourth-best in the world for gender parity according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index. It's also ranked the ninth happiest country in the world on the United Nations' World Happiness Index.

So far, at least two Swedish preschools have aimed to raise children in a gender-neutral fashion, calling all kids by a gender-neutral "hen" pronoun and mixing all toys together instead of labeling some for girls and some for boys.

The national Swedish Gender Equality Agency was established in Gothenburg on January 1, 2018. Its stated goal is "for women and men to have the same power to shape society and their own lives."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37758

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6323295
Cuyahoga4789265
Hamilton2811171
Marion268832
Lucas2329263
Pickaway209938
Summit1529181
Mahoning1486191
Butler97532
Columbiana89453
Stark803102
Montgomery73417
Lorain73061
Trumbull60052
Belmont44915
Warren40721
Medina37624
Tuscarawas3714
Ashtabula36938
Miami36730
Delaware36014
Portage33557
Lake32512
Clark3237
Fairfield3188
Wood30649
Geauga30334
Wayne29651
Licking27110
Mercer2278
Richland2224
Allen22133
Clermont2195
Darke19023
Erie18416
Madison1647
Washington11819
Crawford1184
Morrow1081
Ottawa10717
Greene1065
Putnam9514
Sandusky9112
Monroe8015
Auglaize773
Hardin730
Ross732
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Huron611
Williams581
Holmes573
Union561
Muskingum561
Hancock531
Coshocton480
Wyandot482
Clinton471
Shelby473
Fulton450
Logan430
Fayette410
Preble391
Guernsey382
Carroll353
Defiance342
Brown311
Lawrence301
Highland291
Champaign281
Seneca262
Knox251
Ashland230
Vinton212
Perry191
Athens181
Scioto180
Henry170
Jackson150
Paulding140
Adams111
Harrison100
Pike90
Gallia81
Van Wert70
Meigs60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 68°
Angola
63° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Huntington
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 66°
Van Wert
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 66°
Sunny & Pleasant Weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events