Monday, December 19, 2016

Winter Traditions and Holidays Part 16 - St Lucy Day

Saint Lucy's Day

  • A Christian feast day celebrated December 13, commemorating Saint Lucy, a 3rd-century martyr who according to legend brought "food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs" using a candle-lit wreath to "light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible".
  • feast once coincided with the Winter Solstice, so her feast day is now a festival of light.
  • Most commonly celebrated in Scandinavia and in Italy
  • To celebrate girls will dress as with her wreath of candles and carry rolls and cookies in procession.
  • The candles symbolize the fire that refused to take St. Lucy's life when she was sentenced to be burned.
  • It is said that to vividly celebrate Saint Lucy's Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light.
  • Between Lussi Night and Yule, trolls, evil spirits, and spirits of the dead, were thought to be active outside.
  • In some regions of North-Eastern Italy, Lucy brings gifts to good children and coal to bad ones the night of December 12.

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