Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/02/12

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica] OT - Lucia?
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 08:32:46 +0100
References: <002701c3f1d0$56339ae0$b2710e44@newukolbqveo9i>

Sam S.

Here is some trivia on Lucia - search Google for Sankte Lucia and you 
will find lots of stuff on her and on the swedisch tradition on the 
Lucia Bride etc. -

She was the saint of  Syrakusa (286-304?) in Italy - a virgin and marthy 
protector of the  blind, sick children, tailors  etc etc

It is traditional in Sweden to sing a Sankta Lucia song with the same 
melody as the well-known Italian song; the text, however, is quite 
different. The Swedish song is about the girl who is wearing the 
candleson her head (we use real candles in our ceremony in Raleigh, NC). 
The Italian song ("Sul mare luccica...") is about the *place* Santa 
Lucia, on the Bay of Naples a bit out from the city (check your maps); 
its chorus "Venite all'agile barchetta mia" is clearly not about Swedish 
ritual figures.

The night goes with weighty step
round yard and (stove i.e. house, hearth?)
round earth, the sun departs
leave the woods brooding
There in our dark house,
appears with lighted candles
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

The night goes great and mute
now hear it swings
in every silent room
murmurs as if from wings.
Look at our threshold stands
white-clad with lights in her hair
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

The darkness shall soon depart
from the earth's valleys
thus she speaks
a wonderful word to us
The day shall rise anew
from the rosy sky.
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

 *Sankta Lucia*

/*Sankta Lucia*/, the traditional Swedish Festival of Light, will be 
celebrated at historic Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church in Wilmington, 
Delaware on Sunday, December 14, 2003 at 3:00 o'clock.  Built in 1698, 
Old Swedes is the oldest church in the United States still standing as 
orginally built and holding regular services.

/*Santka Lucia*/, highlight of the Advent season in New Sweden, started 
as a family tradition in which the eldest daughter, dressed in white 
with a crown of candles on her head and assisted by her brothers and 
sisters, brings /Lussibread/ and coffee to her parents at dawn on the 
darkest day of the year.  (/Lucia/ is derived from "/lux/" Latin for 
"light.")  The custom spread and today there are/ Lucia/ processions 
along the streets and in hospitals, schools and offices, all part of the 
tradition announcing that Christmas soon will he here.

At the celebration in Old Swedes Church,/ Lucia/ will be accompanied by 
her court of /Attendants/, /Stargossar/ (Star Boys) and /Tomtar 
/(Elves).   Tales of life in Colonial New Sweden are recounted by 
descendants of the Swedes and Finns who were the first colonists to come 
to the New World's Delaware Valley in 1638.

Hendrickson House Museum, a 1690 Swedish stone farmhouse in the 
churchyard, will welcome you before and after the service.  Enjoy the 
warmth of the great fireplace decked with greens of the season, and the 
special Swedish Christmas tree decorated in traditional wood and straw 
ornaments, candles and flags.

Visitors will be especially interested in this years's gift shop.  Newly 
stocked and rearranged, it contains many new books, cards, linens, 
dolls, tree ornaments and other items with a Swedish theme.  Small items 
for "stocking stuffers" and beautiful items for a Swedish /"Jul" 
/abound.  Doll collectors and youngsters will be entranced by Kirsten 
Larson, a little Swedish girl (doll) of 1854 who has just arrived from 
Sweden to live on a tiny farm on the American frontier.  She comes with 
a set of six books telling of her experiences in a world of wilderness 
and prairies, log cabins and one-room schoolhouses.

Sponsored by the Delaware Swedish Colonial Society, admission and 
parking are free.   For more details, contact Jo by phone 302/652-5629, 
fax 302/652-8615, or E-mail <>.

*Sankta Lucia:*Revealing the history behind the Swedish tradition
that has lit up Lagerquist annually since 1950

Solveig Berg
Mast news intern

A bright "light" is coming again to PLU in the form of the annual Sankta 
Lucia Festival, to be hled in Lagerquist Concert Hall today at 7:30 p.m.

Now in its 53rd year at PLU, the Sankta Lucia Festival is a program 
filled with singing and dancing performed in rememberance and the 
tradition of the legend of Lucia, a Sweedish martyer.

The story of Lucia is a combination of many legends and traditions. One 
legend describes a beautiful young lady named Lucia (meaning light) who 
was engaged to married to a gentleman who subscribed to a different 
religion. When she refused to denounce her Christian beliefs, her fiance 
called off the wedding and Lucia donated her dowry to the poor people of 
her village.

Her fiance was enraged and reported her to the authorities as aiding and 
abetting the Christians, which was against the law of the time. She was 
ordered to be burned at the stake. However, when the fire would not 
light, she was executed with the sword.

Lucia became a martyr for her country and a Swedish symbol of light. 
Lucia is remembered on Dec. 13, the longest day of darkness. This is the 
day in which some believe Lucia comes, bringing light and hope in the 
darkest time of the year.

The Sankta Lucia Festival is a time-honored tradition at PLU. It first 
came to PLU in 1950 when Reverend E. Larson was the Swedish language 
professor. As part of his class project, he brought the tradition of 
Sankta Lucia to PLU. The first Lucia bride was Lola Murk Gracey ('54).

According to the Swedish custom, Lucia rose very early in the morning. 
At PLU, wearing a white robe with a red sash, she traveled from door to 
door awakening her fellow residents of Harstad Hall to serve them the 
traditional saffron buns, ginger cookies and coffee. In place of this 
custom, PLU now has the traditional Festival of Light.

This festival is a service project for students, and each year a 
scholarship is awarded to the new Lucia. Applicants write a 250-word 
essay describing the importance and benefits of experiencing traditions 
from other cultures and attend an orientation meeting to elarn about the 
Sankta Lucia program.

Applicants are also required to attend weekly rehearsals and learn songs 
that are performed in Swedish. Participant Merissa Andre, a junior fine 
arts major, decided to become involved because her sister was active in 
the festival for the last two years and she thought it would be nice to 
carry on the tradition. Seh said, "The Sankta Lucia Festival is a fun 
tradition at PLU, and there are a lot of Scandinavians that attend 
school here. I'm half Swedish and Norwegian and thought I would like to 
learn more about my heritage."

Lucia must have certian qualities, which are represented by the five 
candles in the ceremony: hope, mercy, purity, dedication, and faith. 
Before the actual festival begins, the attendants must take place in a 
private "sashing" ceremony.

During this time, the Lucia Committee gathers around the students and 
expresses their gratitude, awarding each student with a small gift. They 
all sing a special song and last year's Lucia walks around the circle 
and stops in font of the "new" Lucia. The new Lucia is given a red sash 
and her attendants silver sashes. The program then begins.

Children of the community also participate in the festival, performing 
three dances as junior attendants (or tag). Even children ranging from 
two-to three-years-old perform as elves (or tomtar) who come out at 
night and shake the presents around the Christmas tree.

At the conclusion of the ceremony and the presentation of the 
scholarship, the new Lucia leads her attendants and audience to the 
Scandinavian Cultural Center along a lighted path. At the SCC, a 
reception is held, featuring live music, Swedish treats, and dancing 
around the Christmas tree.

This year the PLU Sankta Lucia Festival is co-sponsored by the 
Scandinavian Cultural Center and IKEA Seattle. In special thanks to 
IKEA, Lucia and her attendants will travel to Seattle tomorrow to parade 
through the store, singing songs from the program in order to spread 
Christmas cheer. An added performance this year will be on Sunday at St. 
John's Lutheran Home in Tacoma.

Susan Young, director of the Scandinavian Cultural Center, expressed her 
gratitue to the students, "They are doing this on their own time. With 
their busy lives, I truly think it's a nice thing to do."

Attendants of this special event will be the Swedish Console General, 
Jah Hedberg and President Loren Anderson. Some tickets will be available 
for students at the door, but reservations are recommended.

>Can someone from Sweden clue me in about what Lucia is?
>Sam S
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In reply to: Message from "Jeffery Smith" <> (RE: [Leica] Leica] OT - Lucia?)