When and where does it take place? (3) Why is “Sankta Lucia” celebrated? (4) Who was Saint Lucia? (5) When did the Lucia celebrations begin in Sweden? (6) How has the tradition developed? (7) How is “Sankta Lucia” celebrated today? (8) What does it mean to become the “Lucia of the Year”? (9) How do Swedish school children celebrate “Sankta Lucia”? (10) Who else celebrate “Sankta Lucia”? (11) Who are the characters in a Lucia procession? (12-13) What about the accessories? (14) What do people eat on Saint Lucia Day? (15) What is the song “Sankta Lucia” about? (16) Translation of the song “Sankta Lucia” (17) What other songs are sung in the Lucia processions? (18) THE END (19) If you want to know more... (20)
“Sankta Lucia” is a festival that is celebrated on “Luciadagen” (Saint Lucia Day or Saint Lucys Day) on December 13th in Sweden. The tradition has spread to some other European countries, for example Denmark, Norway and Finland.
The winter in Sweden is very long and dark, especially around Christmas time (and the winter solstice). It is said that Saint Lucia brings the light to make this time of year a little brighter.
Saint Lucia lived in Sicily, Italy, in the late 3rd and the early 4th century. The legend tells that she suffered a martyr’s death in Syracuse.
The first documentation of a Lucia dressed in white is from a country house in 1764. The Swedish custom of having a special Lucia breakfast on the 13th of December dates back to the 1880s.
In 1927 the ritual of crowning the “Lucia of the Year” was put into practice for the first time in Stockholm. The tradition became popular and well-known in Swedish society in the 20th century.
Nowadays, a national Lucia is proclaimed each year and the celebration is broadcast on television. Every town chooses its own Lucia too. The candidates are presented in the local newspaper a couple of weeks in advance.
It is a great honour to be crowned Lucia. The girl that represents Sweden’s Lucia or a town’s Lucia will engage in a lot of charity work by visiting hospitals and old people’s homes, etc.
All schools around Sweden celebrate Saint Lucia Day and the pupils vote to choose who is going to represent their school’s “Lucia of the Year”. At nursery school all the girls can dress as Lucia if they want to. Otherwise they can choose to dress like any other of the characters in the procession.
Lucia is also celebrated at home with family and friends…… and even at work among colleagues! Anyone may participate, age doesn’t matter.
ALWAYS PARTICIPATING CHARACTERS: Lucia She wears a white dress, a red ribbon around her waist and a crown with candles in her hair. Lucia’s handmaidens (“tärnor”) They wear a white dress, glitter or a red ribbon around their waists, glitter or a juniper wreath in their hair and they hold a candle in one hand.
OPTIONAL CHARACTERS: Star boys (“stjärngossar”) They wear a white tunic, a white cone-shaped hat with stars on it and a stick with a golden star in their hand. Gingerbread men (pepparkaksgubbar”) Little Santas (“tomtar”)
Little children carry electric candles instead of real ones.
The “Lussekatt” (Lusse-cat) is a typical bun that is eaten both for breakfast or as a snack. The characteristic colour is achieved because saffron is added to the dough and gives a lovely aroma to this sweet bread. The “pepparkaka” (ginger cookie) can have the shape of a man, woman, heart, star or many other things and the children help to bake them. In some families they build ginger cookie houses too.
The first and the last theme in the Lucia procession “Sankta Lucia” (also called “Natten går tunga fjät”) has Italian origin. (See translation of the Swedish lyrics in the next slide.) Video with beginning of a Lucia celebration Video with the Italian version of the song Santa Lucia The Swedish lyrics describe how Lucia spreads light in the long and dark winter. The Neapolitan lyrics, though, honour “Borgo Santa Lucia”, a coast area in the Bay of Naples.
ENGLISH SWEDISH SPANISH Saint Lucia Sankta Lucia Santa Lucía The night treads heavily Natten går tunga fjät La noche avanza con around yards and pasos pesados runt gård och stuva. dwellings alrededor de granjas y huertos. Kring jord som sol’n förlät, In places unreached by sun, Alrededor de tierras, que el sol dejó, skuggorna ruva. the shadows brood. las sombras traman. Då i vårt mörka hus Into our dark house she Entonces en nuestra casa comes, oscura stiger med tända ljus sube con velas bearing lighted candles, encendidas Sankta Lucia, Saint Lucia, Santa Lucía, Sankta Lucia Saint Lucia. Santa Lucía. Karaoke version of "Santa Lucia"
Some songs that are sung during the Lucia celebration are traditional and international Christmas Carols, like “Stilla natt” (Silent night). Video with Swedish "Silent Night" There are also songs that are dedicated to other characters in the procession, like “Tre pepparkaksgubbar” (Three gingerbread men) The Three Gingerbread Men Song The repertoire may vary a little depending on the age of the participants and the audience. Video with The Elves Christmas Night
HAVE A BEAUTIFUL SAINT LUCIA DAY!LET IT LIGHTEN UP THIS DARK TIME OF THE YEAR ENJOY!!!
Sourceshttp://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luciahttp://www.sweden.se/eng/Home/Lifestyle/Traditions/Celebrating-the-Swedish-way/Lucia/http://www.sweden.se/sp/Inicio/Estilo-de-vida/Eso-hay-que-celebrarlo---Fiestas-a-la-sueca--/La-Lucia-/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cw5NmXkXjlY&feature=mfu_in_order&list=ULhttp://www.google.es/search?tbm=isch&hl=es&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=556&q=Sankta+Lucia&gbv=2&oq=Sankta +Lucia&aq=f&aqi=g2&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=4742l7223l0l9672l12l12l0l5l5l0l234l1372l0.3.4l7l0http://www.care2.com/send/card/5668 Thanks a lot! By Anna Lindgren, 2011