Friday, December 10, 2010

December 13th is Santa Lucia Day in Sweden.

Santa Lucia day is December 13th in Scandinavia.   My parents are from Sweden and my daughter was Santa Lucia at my mom’s lodge last year.  Santa Lucia is named after St. Lucia of Italy who was persecuted, by removing her eyes, because she gave her dowry to the poor instead of the man she was suppose to marry.  She has been called the Saint of light and the blind.

In the 18th Century at Lake Vatern, Sweden someone had a vision of a woman walking across the lake wearing candles in her hair.  After this the upper-class families had their children dress in all white to be Christ-like.  The oldest daughter would wear a wreath of candles in her hair, the younger sisters just wore the white gowns and the boys wore a pointed hat with stars.  The children walked with a tray to their parent’s bedroom in the early morning.  On the tray was a Lussekatt (St. Lucia Bun) made with saffron, which is a very expensive spice (still expensive today), raisins or currants and twisted into a figure eight.  Today the girls or women wear battery operated lights for safety reasons.

While they are processing to their parent’s room they sing the Santa Lucia song.

Here are the words:
Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia Song

Natten går tunga fjät
rund gård och stuva;
kring jord, som sol förlät,
skuggorna ruva.
Då i vårt mörka hus,
stiger med tända ljus,
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia…

Santa Lucia Song

Night walks with a heavy step
Round yard and hearth,
As the sun departs from earth,
Shadows are brooding.
There in our dark house,
Walking with lit candles,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

Night walks grand, yet silent,
Now hear its gentle wings,
In every room so hushed,
Whispering like wings.
Look, at our threshold stands,
White-clad with light in her hair,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

Darkness shall take flight soon,
From earth's valleys.
So she speaks
Wonderful words to us:
A new day will rise again
From the rosy sky…
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

I found the lyrics at Mama Lisa's World where you can find information, songs, crafts and more about different International Countries.

Today Santa Lucia is celebrated in Lutheran Churches in Sweden and the United States.  

In Stockholm the Lucia prossession goes through the market place. 

Last December my daughter, Natalie, was Lucia for my mother’s Swedish Lodge in Ventura, California.  She had been in the pageant for several years and it was finally her turn.  She looked so beautiful and I was happy to see her continue a family tradition.

Natalie as Santa Lucia, December, 2009
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Christie said...

Oh, I so enjoyed my visit over here! I love the story about St. Lucia and your daughter does look so lovely!! Thanks for stopping by Three Pixie Lane! I am your newest follower! Christie

Kat from California said...

Hi Christie, Thanks for following, I'll go and check your blog out too. Out of curiosity where did you see a link to my blog? Thanks, Katharine

Paula said...

I know the story of Lucia from Italy and her drowry. I didnt know however that she became so popular in Sweden. Natalie looks truly nice

Simplesmente Silvinha said...

Beautiful , i like so much traditions , good week