The 13th of December is a very significant day in the Swedish calendar. Why? According to the story ‘Lucia’ was a young girl who stood up for her faith all her life and refused i.e. premarital sex. When she was supposed to marry her to-be husband she somehow refused and was threatened to be sent to a brothel if not repelling on her Christian beliefs. But neither the guards nor an ox could move her because she was so heavy ‘filled by the Holy Spirit’. When they tried to burn her instead, it still couldn’t quiet her prophecies… Songs about her and candle-trains with a ‘Lucia’ are seen all over the place and voting for THE Lucia is an annual and very common tradition in most of the public schools, on television and among all of the Swedish society’s working-sectors. It’s hard to miss!
True or false story, the tradition is vivid and contains elements of pre-Christian pagan traditions as well. Thus celebrating the light (and it’s allies) versus the darkness (and it’s monsters) of the Nordic winter-season. This also seems to be a fair enough reason for many teenagers to get super-drunk for the first time. Nothing to be proud of according to me, but partying is always good when done with consideration. I remember they used to show a Lucia-night-movie-marathon in the cinemas when I was in high school. Read more on Saint Lucy’s Day (Lucia) on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucy’s_Day
I’m going to sing as a ‘stjärngosse’ (star-lad???:) in two ‘luciatåg’ /candle-trains tomorrow morning on Södermalm beginning just before dawn. Tomorrow night will be a blast performing with caroling on a company’s party in Nobis Hotel on Norrmalmstorg.
Happy Saint Lucy’s Day! 🙂