Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Santa Lucia Day in Sweden
December 13th, Sweden celebrates the return on the light by honoring Santa Lucia.
This is our second Lucia in Sweden. Before the Julian calendar, solstice fell near the time Lucia is celebrated. The practice of having a young girl dress as Lucia is actually a newish way of observing the return of the light, but the idea of welcoming the sun's return amongst the darkest days of winter is older than anyone can say for sure.

We prepared by having Swededaddy, the Swede of the house, bake some gluten free pepparkakor cookies with the girls.
I made egg nog, my traditional American holiday drink, to sip as we baked.
SwedeGirl is a great baker, and even the little one enjoyed stamping out cookies with Swededaddy's help.
They came out very nice, ready for Lucia morning!
We celebrated Lucia on Sunday morning the 12th, so it would be on a slow unhurried weekend day instead of Monday. SwedeGirl set her alarm, got out of bed and arranged a plate of cookies, and dressed her self, and came singing into our room, waking us. We were amazed and honored to see Lucia! She had to take off her crown to show us, 'Mom, it's ME!!!!' Boy, she was good and fooled us, we thought Lucia had really come.

We took a drive to Farmor's-grandma's so Lucia could visit.

I am obsessed with photographing the sun, and there is no way I can capture how bright and white the light is when it shines over a field of snow, but I keep trying.
Lucia brought cookies, and Light
My cookie monsters think the best part of Lucia is the Pepparkakor!!
At Farmor's we found a picture of a Lucia Procession Swededaddy had painted as a child. So nice to see my girls being part of the tradition from his childhood!
On Lucia day, there was a event at school but the girls felt like staying home, and after a busy weekend I did not object, so they skipped the school Lucia. We planned to go to a church Lucia in the village church that night, and SwedeGirl decided that was enough for her.

Soft fluffy crystal snow flakes, the kind where you can really see all six sides fell as we entered the church, while the bells chimed.
The light from the street shone through the stained glass of the church window, making magical colors in the entryway
A nearby sign reminded us the church dates back to the 1500's
Lucia and her procession entered and sang their Songs
We returned home and it was still quite early. I had lamb stew with a holiday beer as part of the broth waiting for us, and had some ris gröt, glögg, and pepparkakor for desert. We put on some Christmas music and had a very cozy evening at home with a fire in the fire place, decorating the tree.
Happy Lucia, welcome the light!


Valarie said...

Your pepparkakor look fantastic. I'm so glad to see that everyone is St. Lucia at your house too. We had a whole room full. Your village church Lucia was so pretty and I hope you had a wonderful time. Here's to more light! Happy St. Lucia.

Rose said...

So much to love here!

1. SwedeDaddy making gluten free cookies with your girls.

2. His childhood painting

3. The shape of your "gingerbread men" is entirely different than ours.

4. A church dating back to the 1500's. Wow.

Can't wait until my girl is big enought to get in on that Lucia action. Looks like fun!

Mama Bird said...

What a beautiful celebration! I love that SwedeDaddy can share his traditions with your girls (and his childhood artwork too). I can't wait to show my gal your pictures, as your SwedeGirl was my girl's inspiration to be Lucia this year. Thank you for introducing us to this lovely celebration of light and the season. We miss you all.

kollene carlsson said...

ooooh wow Heidi!!!... this is just so beautiful really it is... to read your beautiful words ... it is so refreshingly lovely how much you are enjoying yourself.. I'm so so happy for you and your family! I almost felt like I was there... the snowflakes falling the church bells... really.. it seems like a fuzzy dream that I have had once before... or was it...

Liquid Pen said...

:) :) :) :) :) :)

Kangaroo said...

so much love here.