Saturday, December 11, 2010

Feast of St. Lucy

December 13th is the Feast of St. Lucy, which is called Luciadagen (Saint Lucy's Day) in Sweden and marks the beginning of the Swedish yule tide.
In Sweden, the oldest daughter of a family will wake up before dawn on St. Lucy's Day and dress in a white gown for purity, often with a red sash as a sign of martyrdom. On her head she will wear a wreath of greenery and lit candles, and she is often accompanied by "starboys," her small brothers who are dressed in white gowns and cone-shaped hats that are decorated with gold stars, and carrying star-tipped wands. "St. Lucy" will go around her house and wake up her family to serve them special St. Lucy Day foods."
Here are some ideas for celebrating this feast:
Pray this prayer to St. Lucy
Saint Lucy, you did not hide your light under a basket, but let it shine for the whole world, for all the centuries to see. We may not suffer torture in our lives the way you did, but we are still called to let the light of our Christianity illumine our daily lives. Please help us to have the courage to bring our Christianity into our work, our recreation, our relationships, our conversation -- every corner of our day.
Do a St. Lucy morning procession
Sing (original Italian lyrics) or listen to "Santa Lucia"
English Lyrics:
The silver star shines on the sea,
the waves are gentle,
the wind is favourable.
Come to my swift little boat!
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
O dear Naples, o blessed land,
where creation was pleased to smile!
Come to my swift little boat!
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Re-enact this morning tradition in any way, from the elaborate to as simple as a white dress, pajama pants and dress-up princess crown and serving store donuts.
Make Saint Lucia crowns for this morning procession . For inspiration look at these crafty ladies' crowns - Charlotte, Jennifer and Jessica
Color Charlotte's coloring page of St. Lucy
Food & Treats
Traditional foods eaten in Sweden on Luciadagen are:
Pepparkakor - ginger snap cookies
Lussekatter ("Lucia cats") - sweet saffron buns which are made in the shape of an X, with curled up ends and raisin eyes. Make these traditional Lussekatter.
other sweet breads in the shape of a crown
Make this Santa Lucia's Braided Bread for breakfast
Serve store-bought donuts as an easy alternative to a crown-shaped sweet bread


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