Thursday, December 13, 2007

Supposedly, they are in memory of a third-century saint who had her eyes plucked out, but the Swedish celebrations honoring Lucia on her Saint's day, December 13, are really just the remnants of pagan mid-winter rites. A fact that I love. Girls in white dresses with wreathes on their heads and candles burning in their hair - it's very, er, druidic, isn't it? And this morning when I made my way past the main city library and on into the park beyond on my way to work, I found the pathways lit with thick-wicked candles in tins, blazing away in the murky winter morning dimness. It made my heart glad, it did.

Natten går tunga fjät runt gård och stuva
kring jord som sol'n förgät skuggorna ruva
Då i vårt mörka hus stiger med tända ljus
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

The night walks heavily round hearth and home,
Around the earth the sun leaves the woods brooding
Then in our dark houses walks, bearing burning candles,
Saint Lucy, Saint Lucy.

There, you have the whole verse of a Swedish song for the day!

- by Francis S.

No comments: