Celebrating Lucia the Swedish way

It is the 12th of December and we are getting closer to Christmas every day now. One Swedish tradition that is very big for us Swedes, is to celebrate Lucia on the 13th of December. [It is actually a tradition in all four Nordic countries Sweden, Norway, Denmark & Finland.] This has always been a big thing in my country and I absolutely love this tradition. And even now when I live abroad, I always tune in to the Swedish television on the web to watch the morning program on SVT.SE. Thankfully they broadcast this tv program for us living abroad as well. At 7 a.m. on Lucia morning the show is starting, but I usually watch it sometime during the day, and sometimes a few times.

And tomorrow the program will be broadcasted from one of the churches in my home town Göteborg [Gothenburg]. Lucia Celebration 2015 and guess who will be ready for it? Yes, you guessed right..that would be me. An early morning wake up, making a pot of fresh coffee and enjoying a plate of gingerbread cookies, lit some candles…that is Christmas for me. And it will only be eleven day’s til Christmas.

Here is a link where you can read more about Lucia in Sweden and how we celebrate it: https://sweden.se/culture-traditions/lucia/

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 10.04.05 p.m.

I thought this illustration would be good to share in this post, I have been inspired by the story about ‘The Tomten’ that I posted about a couple weeks ago. I now have this book in two variations, one Swedish [the original] and one in English [by Astrid Lindgren]. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the children’s book author Astrid Lindgren [Swedish], she has written about Pippi Longstocking [Pippi Långstrump]. When I grew up I was reading a lot of books by her.

At the moment everything is about Christmas in this girl’s head, but I do not think that I am alone though. But for once I am all organised and have all the pressies sorted, only have the baking and preparation of the Swedish dishes to do, but won’t do that until next weekend. There’s still lot’s of time.

IMG_1858

The Christmas tree is up and all ‘dressed’ for this festive season. The house looks nice and cozy and we are so ready for the upcoming break. This Christmas I will have a break all during Christmas and New Year which I haven’t had in my nine years living in Ireland. So for me this will be awesome.

IMG_1854

Here is another illustration that I was working on last weekend. You might think that I am obsessed with Christmas, but it’s just that I love the time leading up to it, the preparations, decorations, delicious smells and flavours, Xmas scented candles, fireplace lit, christmas tree up…and there you have it…Christmas is coming!

Santa Lucia’s Day is celebrated on December 13th in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. It commemorates the life of Santa Lucia, who is also known as Saint Lucy. It’s the beginning of the Christmas season in those countries and is a celebration of light – at the time of year when the world is darker.

Sankta Lucia

(Swedish)

Natten går tunga fjät
rund gård och stuva;
kring jord, som sol förlät*,
skuggorna ruva.
Då i vårt mörka hus,
stiger med tända ljus,
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

Natten går stor och stum
nu hörs dess vingar
i alla tysta rum
sus som av vingar.
Se, på vår tröskel står
vitklädd med ljus i hår
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

Mörkret ska flykta snart
ur jordens dalar
så hon ett underbart
ord till oss talar.
Dagen ska åter ny
stiga ur rosig sky
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

Santa Lucia

(English)

Night walks with a heavy step

Round yard and hearth,
As the sun departs from earth,
Shadows are brooding.
There in our dark house,
Walking with lit candles,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

Night walks grand, yet silent,
Now hear its gentle wings,
In every room so hushed,
Whispering like wings.
Look, at our threshold stands,
White-clad with light in her hair,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

Darkness shall take flight soon,
From earth’s valleys.
So she speaks
Wonderful words to us:
A new day will rise again
From the rosy sky…
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

I will leave this with you for now, enjoy your weekend and your preparations for the upcoming festive season. Hope you will have a joyful and relaxing time leading up to it! And to those of you that are missing somebody that cannot be with you at this special family season, I am sending out warm hugs! I know a few of my friends, and also myself that remembers loved ones that cannot be with us, but they will always be with us in our Hearts.

~Eva’s Chronicles~

7 thoughts on “Celebrating Lucia the Swedish way

  1. I first heard of Lucia from Monica in Sweden. we have been blog friends since 09 and she has done several posts on the Swedish traditions at Christmas. once she took photos of a procession and i said are those REAL lit candles in her hair? yes they were… it is good you are enjoying your days leading up to Christmas and that you have a long break.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dearest Eva,
    Oh that TV Program for the 13th, on Santa Lucia looks awesome. I would nestle with my legs tucked under in my cozy leather chair with a warm coffee…
    Yes, it is the entire ambiance that is leading up to the big Christmas season and you are so fortunate for having the entire week off! So happy for you.
    Love your mouse art; so sweet!
    As for my Christmas 2015, I’m not yet ready for it. Since mid October I have been dealing with a very stubborn, slow, and filled with MORONS, Social Security office. Applying for my retirement benefits was requested but it is NOT easy when you have lived and worked in Italy and in The Netherlands and try to merge it all. By law it is possible but for that you must convince and educate some local civil servants that have NO clue!
    So frustrating and you would not believe how often they had misspelled my name. Oh my. That said, I’ve wasted most of my precious time on that. I had to do this, no getting around. The Dutch are even worse as their DigiD (code) for all government websites is no longer given to expatriates. So how do you deal with that? Even more time consuming and I got through via Twitter in a Private Message where at least I could upload documents. They called me from one office but I got told that there is NO option yet for obtaining a DigiD. Other Government branches say that as soon you receive retirement money you again CAN obtain it. But I need to settle things before than as my late husband in The Netherlands died and I want to apply for some compensation. Waiting for yet another call, via Twitter I again was asked for my phone number.
    But all this is rather stressful and any time I have to sit at my Mac with all those needed documents in front of me…
    I will do a happy dance when all that is behind me!
    Besides, my Dad is back in the hospital. I stayed up till 2:00 AM yesterday so I could call him at hime by 8:00 AM his time… I was shocked to hear his weak voice. So I Skyped my youngest sister who checked on him and she called the doctor and than the ambulance. Now he’s being monitored and his fluid build up is being taken care of. His heart is oh so weak and considering his age of almost 95 (January 4), it is scary. Glad I talked to him and I’ve said the things I wanted to let him know, that is peace of mind too.
    Let’s hope he will be around for Christmas otherwise it would be too much for losing Mom on January 27 and Dad in the same year…
    Enjoy your special month in all coziness. You’re still younger and don’t have to deal with those issues. I’d rather go walking and biking too but that will come soon!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s