Saturday, December 13
Santa Lucia’s Day
A beautiful and wealthy Sicilian who was martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian, Lucia of Syracuse (c. 304) was known as the patron of light. For her, Advent was always a celebration of the approach of Light and Life. Interestingly, her feast day, held on December 13, is one of the shortest and darkest days of the year. Thus, a great festival of lights is traditionally held in her memory--particularly in Scandinavian cultures. Candles are set into evergreens. Garlands are spread, full of twinkling lights. Torchlight parades are held. And fireworks brighten the evening sky. The celebration remains an important holiday in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Norway, Finland, Malta, Italy, Bosnia, Iceland, and Croatia.