Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I think we'll skip St. Lucia Day

As I've mentioned before, I am a holiday nut. (Hazel.) I love learning about Yule traditions in other countries. As a kid, I read about children celebrating St. Lucia day in Sweden, in the marvelous Maria Gripe books.

Well, you can order a battery-operated crown for fairly cheap, and wouldn't that be a neat thing to add to our December, our eldest daughter, in nightgown and crown, serving coffee and special buns to the rest of the family? Like a fairy princess.

Okay, so let me learn a little about the origins, so I can teach the kids.


Um, eek. The different versions of the story change in details, but the basic storyline running through all is that Lucia was supposed to marry someone, she refused, then either her eyes were removed or her throat slashed, or both. Religious faith and a vow to remain a virgin also enter into it. And a burning attempt.

I don't think I can see a lovely way to spin that one.


Adam Tierney-Eliot said...

When I was in high school we used to celebrate Saint L. by lighting up the head of a blonde senior and singing the "Santa Lucia Song" (I am sure it has another name)while everyone held candles. It was primarily an excercise in fear. My brother, for example, once recieved quite a burn from the dripping wax. Unfortunately, he was penalized by the faculty for not being festive.

I went to school in Maine, not Sweden, and I believe our apparent enthusiasm had to do with our worship of Ice Hockey. We had a cultural exchange with a Swedish school which would send us Hockey players every year (we spent a lot of time on probation)....

Nancy said...

My grandfather was Swedish, and my grandmother is Norwegian. We appreciated all things Scandinavian and ate all kinds of great food (except lutefisk), but we never took that tradition on. I only remember seeing beautiful, blond girls in a book I had with the soft light of candles all around them. I think I'll just stick with that memory and call it good.