Friday, December 14, 2007
Honor the Light
Yesterday was St. Lucia Day, the Festival of Light. I was inspired to do this piece to honor the celebration, after visiting Bibbi Forsman's blog [an incredible ceramic artist!]. . It has been [many] years since I was in Sweden - I'm not even sure Abba was around yet, but her blog reminded me of the charm of her country, as well as all of Scandinavia. I can only imagine the charm of the holidays there, for even in June, Copenhagen and Stockholm felt like a fairyland to me.
Lucia is an ancient mythical figure with an abiding role as a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters. According to one Swedish website: In the old almanac, Lucia Night was the longest of the year. It was a dangerous night when supernatural beings were abroad and all animals could speak. By morning, the livestock needed extra feed. People, too, needed extra nourishment and were urged to eat seven or nine hearty breakfasts. This kind of feasting presaged the Christmas fast, which began on Lucia Day.
In today's Sweden, people dress in white gowns and wear crowns of light [which used to be candles]. I guess there are many traditional songs honoring Saint Lucia, and the Lucias serve glögg or coffee, along with these little crossed buns. If I've my facts wrong, maybe a Lucia expert can enlighten me, please.
Next year, I hope to remember this tradition, and I'll have a festival with our own Lucia. "Light" is a worthy thing to honor.