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!


22 thoughts on “Saint Lucia´s day.

  1. hi christer…the video is so beautiful! i only heard santa lucia in italian. this i a first in swedish. it is so wonderful. i am disappointed our storm only brought 2 inches of snow. have a happy st. lucia day!!! joyce

    • Hi Joyce!
      Yes it is a very beautiful song and today the christmas season starts here. If I remember it I´ll find another couple of videos that shows our Lucia celebration.

      That wasn´t much of a storm 🙂 🙂 But if You like snow it´s better than nothing 🙂

      Have a great day now!

    • Hejsan Nina!
      Tack skall du ha 🙂
      Jag lär mig mycket när jag skall hitta fakta som jag sedan skriver här 🙂 Jag blev bekant med Lusse förra året på grund av min blogg 🙂
      När det gäller Lucia själv finns det nog lika många versioner som berättare 🙂

      Ha det gott!

  2. Firstly, beautiful blue skies and sunshine, seldom seen lately in your photos. You and the boys must have been blinded by all that brightness! Happy St. Lucia day to you, and thanks for the interesting story about it. Sounds like it was pretty scary in the old days!

    • Hi Robin!
      I saved some photos from the latest sunny day we had here 🙂 It´s pitch black when I come home from work so all photos are from the weekend or older.

      I sometimes takes my sunglasses on sunny winter days, the strong light can give a bad headache those days.

      Yes both the old and newer tradition is based on scary histories 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  3. P. S. I forgot to say how lovely the video is…beautiful singing, lovely girls, very nice ceremony. How amazing the girl could walk and sing so nicely with those candle wreath on her head. Very nice tradition.

  4. Hi Christer
    Beautiful song ! To me, a Catholic, it is Saint Luzia, patron of the eyes. I was born with a little eye problem so my mom made me a devotee of Santa Luzia, I have the medal and medal of her eyes.
    Today we had a procession and mass at the Church of Pilar which has a fountain, and the devotees take this water and wash the eyes.
    I loved the photo Bertil in the window. This beautiful flowering plant… how is it called? How do you get it to pop up in the winter?
    a great day for you too

    • Hi Didi!
      We don´t have those traditions in the protestant church but I do understand what You are writing about. So it´s really strange that we celebrate a saint at all 🙂
      I know that one of the stories about Lucia was that she cut out her eyes and gave to her pagan husband to be.

      That is a hyacinth, one of our most popular Christmas flowers. If one places the bulb rather cold for several weeks it starts to grow as soon as it gets som heat. Sometimes it decides to start earlier too. The important things is not to give it any water in the beginning because then it grows to fast and falls over all the time 🙂

      Have a great day too!

  5. Lovely song Christer, pretty girls too, maybe you should grab one of them to warm up the Cottage. I like that photo with Bertil by the window. I guess it’s too cold for him to go out again as I see the snow is getting pretty high. Piling up as they say. Lots of winter snow over here now. I used a space heater this morning in the bathroom so I could shower in warmth and Zoey went over and slept beside it. I was worried her furs would catch fire so I turned it off. Zoey loves to lay by the fireplace when I have the wood burning. Her furs are so hot to the touch it bothers me she can’t feel how hot she is. Anyway, nice post today and thanks for the video. Enjoy the Lussekatter!

    • Hi Z&M!
      I can tell you that those girls wouldn´t want to live in a cottage by the bog 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Do You have snow? Not good for the oranges and most of our orange juice comes from Your oranges (I read that last year when the frost hit You).

      I would do like You if any of my cats came to close to such a heater! They can´t feel the heat through their fur and I don´t want a burning cat.

      I did enjoy the Lussekatter 🙂
      Have a great day now!

  6. Hi Christer
    beautiful video
    In my garden I have esa flowers that were in your window, just do not see the bulb because it’s buried in the earth. and not quite know the season that it flourishes here.
    as you can get the bulb so without land? use water?
    ‘Redundant to say that your photographs are beautiful and, heheheheeh (it rains in the wet! Hehehehum dictation)
    Now you follow the face, leaving my blog, I can not post pictures! I’m sad …. but after Christmas I got it.

    • Hi Andréa!
      I can plant the bulb later in spring here, but our climate gives them a hard time so they usually don´t survive that long here. They usually flower in spring up here.

      If they are placed rather cold for several weeks they start to grow as soon as they get some heat, sometimes they start growing already in the cold 🙂 They really don´t need any water if we want to throw them away after they have flowered. But I like to put them in the garden later on so I water and fertilize them until I can put them out 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  7. Loved the history of St.Lucia… I guess everyone behaved themselves or had to find a very deep cave! Bertil knows how to enjoy the weather… Does he expect you to carry his food to him, too?

    Thank you for the video. It’s a beautiful song and ceremony. This is the music I love to hear around the holidays… Enjoy your tea and the warmth of your cabin…

    • Hi Sharlene!
      Bertil had placed himself just inches away from the food 🙂 He is smart the little cat 🙂

      I love to sit and watch the Lucia show every year when it is on a weekend 🙂 Then I have a pot of tea and some gingerbreads and Lussekatter 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  8. That was a very nice song. When I played the video a couple of my little tiny dogs walked up and just stood near me, like they just wanted to listen. 🙂
    The story about Saint Lucia was very interesting.
    Once again, I am thankful to have been born now and living here, rather than years ago or some place else where women were/are punished for not “obeying”.

    • Hi Cindi!
      It is a very beautiful song and I love all the other songs they sing too. I´ll try to post more with the others that normally participate in this.

      I think there are as many stories about Saint Lucia as there are those telling one 🙂 Some of them are horrifying compared to this one 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I think we all are lucky that lives where we do and now 🙂

      Have a great day now!

    • Hi Tammy and welcome to my blog!

      Thank You 🙂 I love living where I do even if the flies and mosquitoes are terrible here during late summer 🙂 🙂
      Have a great day and welcome back!

  9. Hello Christer, enjoyed reading about St Lucia and then seeing the video which was very impressive, exspecially with all the candles burning. When I was growing up and attending Catholic church services, candles were always found in the church. Now, they have been replaced by electric of battery-powered illuniations because of the fear of fire. It is nice that in other countries, candles are still lit for ceremonies because they are so beautiful. And the first girl who was walking and singing with them lit in a wreath was amazing. I noticed is that the girls singing were the only ones in the church. Do you know if this intentional for video purposes?

    • Hi Beatrice!
      I remember when we had our Lucia celebration in school. I was always Saint Stefanus and hated it 🙂 🙂 🙂 But we all had real candles but I usually had a lantern with a burning candle instead. I remember how hot the bloody thing got 🙂 🙂 🙂 We still have real candles in church over here and so far we´ve been lucky 🙂

      The girl that is Lucia is training a lot with that wreath before Saint Lucia´s day 🙂 🙂 🙂 But normally the church, or where ever they are, are filled with people but not a sound can be heard from the audience.

      Have a great day now!

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