“The Black night closes in, in stables and houses. The sun has gone away. The shadows are threatening. Into our dark house, rises in candlelight; Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia ”
The song, children with candles on their head and in hand and long white robes, along with the aroma and flavor of freshly baked ‘lussekatter’ is what we often associate with Lucia.
December 13 is the day for traditions. Traditions that we are not always sure why we really celebrate and maintain. Yet, it spreads a good feeling in us when we wake up to December 13 and Lucia Day.
Lucia was a woman who was martyred on this day and is why we celebrate her.
In Germany they dressed up a girl in white and with candles in her hair, as an image of the baby Jesus. Thus, this tradition has been taken up in Scandinavia.
In Sweden it started in 1927 with a Lucia procession, something that has continued in both Norway and Sweden ever since.
When the Lucia celebrations came to Scandinavia, this day had still little to do with the Roman Lucia. December 13 was in fact the longest night.
On this night, Lussi the troll was looking every year to see if people had prepared for Christmas. If not so, the other trolls would commit vandalism.
It was therefore important for people to make proper Yule. This is still true today, but often not for the same reason as the time when they believed in Lussi.
Although we may not know the story of Lucia or believe in the troll Lussi, it is nevertheless certain that Norwegians know the words of Santa Lucia and that this day is a day of good and and solid traditions.
Few things are as joyous in children’s eyes when they can dress up a bit, and few things are as evocative as a Lucia procession through an old people’s home in the dark midwinter or at the children’s own school.
And few things are as good as being surrounded by the Christmas spirit, by smiling children who are proudly carrying candles on their heads, an old heart with a Lussekatt in hand and Santa Lucia on everyone’s lips.
Source: juletradisjoner.no / Norway Today