Thursday, 13 December 2012

Santa Lucia December 13

History of Lucia
The Lucia legend is said to have originated in Syracuse on the island of Sicily. A young girl, about to be a bride, gave her entire dowry to the poor of her village and admitted that she had become a Christian. She was accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake on December 13.

Much later in history, the early Church made a saint out of her - Santa (Saint). Italian artists sometimes picture her as a blind girl holding a lamp. She is a patron saint for Italian fishermen and she is said to help guide them home through the rough seas during a storm.

There are many legends about her and in each one Lucia stands as a symbol of light and hope to all mankind. Santa Lucia's coming begins the feasting, merriment, singing and the spirit of friendliness and goodwill that lasts all through the holidays.

File:Lucia procession.jpg

How we celebrate Lucia in Sweden
In Sweden, the Lucia Day is celebrated all over the country in every home, school, and workplace on the morning of the 13th of December. All of the other Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway) celebrate Lucia as well. At each school, there is a gathering in the auditorium first thing in the morning. The lights are dimmed and the Lucia and Lucia maids enter, singing the old song "Santa Lucia".

At Select Collection, a table is laid ready with coffee, saffron buns and gingerbread cookies for my wonderful staff to enjoy all that day. On this day, as well as around Christmas, a hot mulled drink called glögg is served.

This is also the first "Christmas Decoration Sunday". This means that all of the stores decorate for Christmas in their store front windows. Mostly all of the town's population gathers downtown for this event and they walk up and down the streets checking out the new decorations in the storefront windows.
Lucia brings a message of lighter times to come during the darkest time of the year. It is a very festive atmosphere, full of good feelings, hope, and expectations.

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