The Feast of Saint Lucia
I love the traditions of St. Luca or St. Lucy. The feast and celebrations on the 13 December is centered on the annual struggle between light and darkness on the Northern Hemisphere. It heralds the coming of Love and Light that enables humanity to awaken from the darkness and walk Home with guidance.
A “story of a young girl bringing light in the midst of darkness no doubt held great meaning for people who, in the midst of a North Sea December, were longing for the relief of warmth and light”
Some of the interesting Festivities from around the world
Saint Lucy is one of the few saints celebrated by the overwhelmingly Lutheran Nordic people — Danes; Swedes; Finns and Norwegians but also in the United States and Canada and Italy as well as in central Europe.
St. Lucia was a Roman young woman who became a Christian martyr about 300 AD. Lucia gave her dowry to poor Roman Christians on her wedding day, was condemned as a traitor, and was to be burned at the stake. The flames did not harm her, so her executioners killed her with a sword. Years later, when Sweden was suffering from famine and despair, legend tells how St. Lucia appeared one cold and dark winter night and brought food and light to the people of Sweden. A similar thing happened in Italy. There was a famine, and families gathered in a cathedral on her feast day, Dec. 13 th, to pray. Legend says two ships showed up with wheat, Lucia at the helm. She was dressed in white with candles on her head. (St. Lucia is the patron saint for fishermen and is said to guide them home during rough seas. )SOURCE
It is speculated that the St. Lucy’s Day celebrations in Scandinavia alone may retain a few indigenous Germanic pagan, pre-Christian midwinter elements inherited from Yule.
In Croatia, Hungary and some their neighbouring countries, a popular tradition on Saint Lucy’s Day involves planting wheat grains; nowadays this serves as symbol of the new life born in Bethlehem, with a candle sometimes placed in the middle of the new plant as a symbol of the Light of Christ that Saint Lucia brings. Interestingly, it is in actuality one of the many pagan traditions found in Croatia and other Slavic nations, that once served as part of rituals to appease their many deities and fairies, which were mostly forgotten after their Christianization. Traditions such as this one stubbornly live on to this day, the deities and original meanings long forgotten, their meanings simply replaced with ones more in accordance with Christianity. The real reason wheat was and is planted at this time, or on the Day of Saint Barbara, is because the density, color and richness of the shoots will foretell how the upcoming yield will be, as well as increase the chances of it being a good one.SOURCE
SOURCE of other quotes
At the link there is a lot of information on different interesting traditions the way people celebrate St. Luca’s day around the world. LINK HERE