Saint Lucia´s day.
Today is Saint Lucia´s day and even though we swedes is protestants since long we still celebrate her. But not as they do in Sicily in Italy. Our traditions started in the region I live now called Västergötland and in the region north from us called Värmland. After that it spread all over the country and even to other countries like Norway, Denmark, the swedish speaking parts of Finland and even to the places swedes moved in the USA.
Our Lucia celebration has it roots in the pagan traditions we have here (Our pagan roots are involved very much in almost every holiday we have here). Back in the days this night was a dangerous night when animals could talk and the supernatural powers moved around and was extra strong then. All the christmas preparations had to be finished and all animals got some extra food that night. Because if things wasn´t as they should be Lussi, a female being like a demon or witch, came riding in the air with her follower Lussiferda (I really don´t know what that was) and they could then punish the farm that wasn´t totally prepared for Christmas.
Children that hadn´t behaved properly during the year had to be prepared for Lussi to come down the chimney and take them away. Because this night was extra magical and things like trolls and evil spirits were extra active it was best to stay awake all night, so that night they also slaughtered the christmas pig. When we changed it to a christian tradition it was Lucifer that walked around in the night instead. So Saint Lucia became our protector against evil instead.
There are many stories about Saint Lucia and why she became a saint. One is that after rejecting her husband to be she was sentenced to become a prostitute ( she had taken a vow of chastity) and when she refused to become a prostitute her vow became double worth. When they put her in the carriage that was going to take her to the brothel the carriage froze to the ground and couldn´t be moved. Then someone poured boiling oil over her but nothing happened to her. In desperation someone put a sword through her throat, but she still didn´t die and kept on living until someone gave her last rites.
I hope I can put in a video from Youtube here so You can see Lucia and her maids sing a song for You. Normally also Saint Stefanus follows her as well as gnomes, gingerbread men and Star boys. The two big tv channels has their own Lucia program and all schools have that too. All hospitals and homes for elderly has it too and we all have coffee, gingerbreads and something we call Lussekatter (that would be Lusse cats) in the morning. The factory owner came and gave us some this morning before work 🙂 Have a great day now!