Tuesday, December 13, 2011

St.Lucy´s day, how a sicialian woman can be worshipped in the far north

Simply Lucia, it´s the name of this special day  in Sweden(13th december).
The Swedish tradition has its origins in both the pre-Christian and Christian traditions. According to folklore was December 13th a dangerous night because many supernatural powers was in motion then. It was believed also that the animals could speak during lucia´s night. All Christmas preparations had to be ready by lucia´s  day and celebrated by eating and drinking  extra ( as any holyday in this alchool-monopolist country). During 1700 this celebration fell during the winter solstice .Lussinatta occurred on 13 December and it was then that Lussi or Lussekäringen, a female creature with vicious qualities, like a female demon or witch came riding through the air with his companions, who were called lussiferda. In some areas, especially in Västergötland, was instead about a man,Lussegubben. Lucia legend was known in Scandinavia since the 1200´s, and just in the 1300's was the name commonly known as the name of the day. Lussi is most probably a personification of the day, without any connection to the saint.
During the period between Christmas and lussinatta believed that trolls and evil spirits were particularly active outdoors. It was extremely dangerous to be outduring the lussinatta. Children who had committed atrocities had to beware of extra care when Lussi could come down the chimney and abduct them. And if some of the Christmas preparations were not clear, could Lussi punish the family in question

Lucia is one of the few festivals in the Scandinavian Protestant countries, which is named after a saint: Saint Lucia, the patron saint of Syracuse, who died in 300's. The Swedish celebration linked to Saint Lucia is basically nonexistent,and the name of the Festival of Lights is a recent phenomenon for many. In either case, the current tradition of having a white-dressed woman with candles in her hair appearing on the morning of the Lucia day started in the area around Lake Vänern in the late 18th century and spread slowly to other parts of the country during the 19th century.

From the Middle Ages, there is information on the celebration of julfastans (nativity fast, a tradition in  the ortodox church).On Lucia the night were slaughtered Julgrisen (a must have in the swedish xmas banquet)  and the celebration was all night long.

This was before but what do you do today? or better what did i do today :P
Well, my day started 15:30 woke up by Mormor´s phone call obviously as soon i saw the clock i got on panic so i violently wrought johannes outside from the bad for making "breakfast" and we run to Nordstan to buy som wine.
Obviously after i passed a whole night baking Pepparkakor  and Lussekatter i have my arms which are hurting more than when i go to the gym for 4 hour straight, A dude on SVT  said that usually people wake up really early and do 3 breakfast while there is light ( but since we are really alternative people we did 3 breakfast while it was dark), i guess the devil will take us  for sure! 

At 18:00 always on Svt they show the Luciatåg,  here you can see songs from Göteborg´s domecathedral like the following:

for the rest it was spent by cooking food and trying to have a cozy night :)

Lucia´s songs

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