Tuesday, December 13, 2011

St. Lucia Day

Happy Lucia Day! Lucia was one of those early Christian martyrs who died rather than marry a pagan. She may or may not have gouged her own eyeballs out. Naturally, we celebrate with candles and saffron buns!

It's the Scandinavians who get really into this.  Scandinavia, I can tell you from personal experience, is very dark at this time of year. So I don't blame them for latching onto a December saint's day for a woman whose name means "light".  In both homes and public gatherings, they have processions of children in white robes. The tallest and prettiest girl wears a wreath of candles on her head.

Carl Larsson, "Lucia Morning"

One unexpected benefit of winning the Nobel Prize is that during your stay in the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, a procession of Lucia girls and star boys wake you with a song. The problem is that laureates are sometimes surprised to awake to coffee and pastry born by singing girls dressed in white and crowned with flame. Supposedly, one of them believed he had died and gone to heaven.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Happy St Lucia's Day to you as well!

Anna and I celebrated by listening to ABBA and making Lucia buns. No crown of fire this year, but we'll have to revive that part of the tradition sometime...