Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa Lucia

December 13. When I was young, that date meant Christmas was coming soon. When I was old enough to carry a tray with a coffee cup and little lucia breads with cardamon aroma I became the Lucia in our house, for I was blonde and my sister had black hair. I had never been more important than my sister before, and the feeling that filled me was ecstasy. I think it was my first feeling of some kind of importance. Our celebration was strictly homebound and after people got out of bed my role returned to normal and I slouched back to my place.

When I was married and had children that old feeling was aroused in me again and we really celebrated. We invited five or six families for breakfast at 6 AM. (Only one person said nothankyou but sent her husband, five boys and one daughter) We had our blondest daughter carrying the tray with the Lucia rolls and with candles on her head. Then we all sat down to eat and when eight o'clock came around all fathers went to work and most of the children had to run for the school bus. We had between thirty five and forty people around our tables. Before we left the bay area I would often meet some parent of a friend of one of our children's friends who had come for a Lucia party who still remembered the fun.

We would of course tell everyone about the origin of the ritual. In the pre Christian days the people of the North felt they had been forsaken by their Gods and they thought the Dark had lasted too long when suddenly they discovered that the night just passed had been a minute shorter than the night before and they knew their Gods had not forsaken them and they celebrated the return of the Sun.

Three of my three daughters have called this morning and said:Happy Lucia Day. And so, Happy Lucia Day to all of you who may happen to read this. Next blog will be about our Advent Calendars.


Molly Brown said...

And a very Happy Lucia Day to you nice to hear of your memories.
You have brightened my day!
Hugs and Blessings to you.
Molly said...

Yes, Happy Lucia Day to you! Hugs! (I have been missing your writing! Welcome back.)

Anonymous said...

I was hit with Déjà vu at a recent ritual for a similar purpose, this one in honor of Mexico’s Virgin of Guadalupe.

A clap of thunder and moat of water that rapidly rose around Donna’s house were reminiscent of the high winds that often pitched Santa Lucia mornings into utter darkness (I only learned much later that, if nature didn’t intervene, you’d switch off the breaker main yourself.)

The weather cleared this night in time for a procession to Donna’s labyrinth. Each step, with me in the lead clutching a wooden stake and followed by 40 women with lighted candles, transported me back to the days of bringing light to our friends and family, and left me wishing to once again wear the Swedish halo of candles atop my head.

Thanks, Mom, for a most original and magical childhood.

Anonymous said...

My mother was born on December 13 and was named Lucia after the day. I was also born on December 13, the same day as my mother!