Friday, December 12, 2008



In Sweden, December 13 is Luciadagen,
or St. Lucia's Day. It is the

beginning of their holiday season.
St. Lucia was a young woman who lived

in first century Rome.
She was a Christian who would not give up her

faith to marry an unbeliever.
She was tortured and killed by order of

the Roman Emperor, Diocletian.

Stories of her courage were brought
to Sweden by missionaries where

she became known as the Lucia Bride.
Old people said the Lucia Bride

would go out early in the morning to
bring food and drink to the poor.

She wore white robes and a crown of light.

The story is acted out in Swedish homes
with the oldest daughter playing

the Lucia Bride. Early in the morning on
December 13, she brings her

parents a tray of sweet saffron buns and
some coffee. She wears a white

gown and a crown of greens, often made of holly.
Her sisters and brothers

dress in white and follow her. The girls carry lit
candles and the boys

wear tall, pointed caps and are called "star boys."

St. Lucia is also honored in Sicily,
where she was born. Christians there

gather to celebrate her day with bonfires
and torchlight parades...

a fitting celebration since Lucia means "light."

Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian
Norwegian children actually also celebrate Lucia.
When Serina was just four three neighborhood moms,
yours truly included, baked buns, dressed the girls in
white pillowcases and followed the them from house
to house in the cold winter night.
The smiling faces of the surprised adults were so
inspiring for the girls, they did not want to stop until
all the baskets were emptied of buns and the voices
soar from singing.
I never forget the face of a lonely, elderly man.
"Are we supposed to get, not to give?"
That is the wonderful idea of Saint Lucia.


Debbie Petras said...

I remember celebrating St. Lucia in Sons of Norway. I have a picture of my little niece dressed in the outfit with the candles on her head. I guess I have to look through my photo books and finally post something on our Norwegian American Christmas this next week. I love to check your blog each day. Hugs to you Felisol!

Felisol said...

Dear Debbie,
I bet you was chosen to be THE St. Lucia.
It's traditionally a fair-haired beauty.
I'm looking forwards to seeing your Norwegian/American Christmas.
That's some tradition and heritage to remember and take care of.
I recently read that nowhere are the Christmas so important feast as in the Nordic countries.
A farmer and hunter people struggling to survive the cold and dark mid-winter simply needed
to occupy thoughts, strength and mind on the light and coming of the New Times.
That's also why the Scandinavian have kept the ancient word jul for the celebration.
From Felisol

Deb said...

Thanks for sharing some of your tradtions with us!!

Amrita said...

You will be very surprised to hear that i used to sing that song in my chilshood.

My German music teacher , Sister Elizabeth (nun) taught us that song in English - I don 't remember the words though.
She used to play the grand piano and we sang along.
I suppose its sung in Germany too.
This is great Felisol.

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
how nice. St. Lucia is celebrated on three continents.
Yes, I am surprised and happy.
From Felisol

Debbie Petras said...

Hi Felisol, I'm back because I wanted to alert you that I have something for you on my Saturday Heart Choices post. I value you as a new friend!

Felisol said...

Thank you, Debbie.