December 13, St. Lucia day
Today begins early in the morning when it’s still dark. A girl dresses up as a dead Italian saint with fire on her head followed by “tärnor” (like Lucia maidens – no fire on head) and “stjärngossar (star boys who wear white pointy hats, I have no idea why) singing Christmas songs.
It’s a celebration of light in the darkness of winter. Young children wear electric candles on their head, but above age 12, they wear real candles. Yes, the wax drips down as the ceremony usually lasts 30 minutes to an hour. They have a light covering on their hair, but most Lucias have long hair and it still falls into the bottom parts.
The outfit Lucia wears is for an Italian saint who brought food in secret tunnels to persecuted Christians. She wore candles on her head to see in the tunnel. The red sash represents blood, as she was sentenced to death and they tried to stab her (apparently didn’t work). They also tried to set her on fire, which is why everyone carries candles (also didn’t work). These days the candles mostly represent the light she brings.
One of my sons had three Lucia performances over the weekend and has two more today. My husband had the job of being class parent for one of the concerts, which means he had to stand to the side during the performance with a bucket of water in case anyone caught fire.
So much more exciting than just being a chaperone at a school dance, I think.
This bright yellow ball pushed through our sky here in Stockholm yesterday. It seemed familiar, as though something from a long time ago, back when we didn’t wear coats. Some people called it “The Sun.” I said the sun is just a myth. I know nothing but clouds and gray. There might have been something called a sun way back in September, maybe even October. But it left us and I haven’t seen it for months. Until yesterday. Is it still around? Does it still exist? It could have all been a dream.
Unfortunately, I don’t mean the music group…
It’s become even darker this week. I woke my youngest son up today who kept complaining that I was a horrible mother for making him eat breakfast during the night. I totally agree.
In two weeks we have the time change. When this happens, I will go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. Did I mention I work in a basement? Expect crazier posts as the winter season continues.