Tuesday, December 12, 2006

For Matilda:

This post won't make much sense.

I thought I should inform all of my readers of something:

Right now, in Sweden and various other Scandinavian counties, they are celebrating St. Lucia day. St. Lucia is an Italian saint. She is so popular that she isn't celebrated with nearly as much zeal in Italy. The Scandanavians apparenty love her though. To commemorate this day, I have written an essay about St. Lucia day with information stolen from Wikipedia.

Dec 13th marks St. Lucia day. It coincides with Advent, which marks the beginning of the Christmas Season. St Lucia day dates back to before the reformation (1540), when Sweden was still a predominantly Catholic country. At that time, many saints' days were celebrated, but St. Lucia was one of the few that continued to be even into modern day. It is said that St. Lucia day falls on the longest night of the year according to the Julian Calendar. This may attest to the celebrations longevity in Nordic countries, where the long nights would be especially noticable.

This date is marked by a ceremony in which the eldest girl in a family walks with a crown of candles ahead of a procession girls dressed in angelic white dresses, holding candles, and parading around with boys who are carrying stars on big sticks. I don't know what the significance is, I think it has to do with St. Lucia surviving not only a famine but A FIRE? Truely Amazing. The women sing non-Christian Christmas songs about St Lucia overcoming darkness or something. (NEAT FACT: the original Italian lyrics were really depictions of beautiful Italian scenery.) Then everyone drinks, and shows up to school tanked.

In Italy, St. Lucia is a bringer of gifts. She provides gifts to good children, and coal to naughty children (sound familliar?) But children aren't allowed to see her bringing them gifts, or she'll blow ashes in their eyes BLINDING THEM SO SHE CAN ESCAPE. In exchange, children are supposed to leave her sandwhiches, and also sugar or flour for her mule, which helps her carry her gifts to the children's homes.

I hope everyone has become well versed in St. Lucia day.

I remember how I spent St. Lucia day last year. It involved eating swedish chocolate and rehersing the Nutcracker with Matilda. Dearest Matilda, how lonely and awkward every symphony rehersal is without you. In fact, pretty much every symphony function I attend is just painfully strange now because I just sit by myself, unless Jordan decides to pester me and then he laughs at how awkward I am and then points my awkwardness out to other people, which in turn just ups the awkward quotient. Not that this doesn't happen in other social situations (pretty much every social situation EVER) but at least with Matilda present, my tension was eased always eased.

I hope you had a Happy St. Lucia Day you Swedish fiend!!


mitch said...

As in Matilda who happens to be a genius, and has a wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable?

Naomi said...

I'm confused...?

mitch said...

a childhood tale?

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