(CNN) — Saint Lucia’s Day, a winter holiday traditionally celebrated on December 13 in Scandinavian countries, is getting modernized.
The city of Malmo, Sweden has announced that for the first time ever, they will not consider gender when casting their ‘Lucia’.
The holiday, which often coincides with the winter solstice, depicts Saint Lucia – Lucy in English – as a young girl in a white dress and red sash, with a wreath of candles on her head.
Often, Lucia’s selection has been compared to a beauty contest, and some have criticized officials for preferring pale, blonde Lucias. This year, Malmo is completely rethinking the idea of Lucia.
Now Lindén and his team in Sweden’s third-largest city will choose a Lucia based on good deeds and civic engagement rather than photos. Maybe it’s appropriate, because Lucia is the patroness of the blind.
The official announcement of the nomination of Lucia 2018 from Malmo will be made on November 30.
The move to eliminate gender as part of choosing a Saint Lucia is just the latest step in Sweden’s national efforts to achieve gender equality.