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.


Amy Jo Underwood said...

Is this another example of how the celebration of
Christmas is not just an example of synchretism?

gileskirk said...

Amy: A glass half empty perspective might call such things "syncretism." A glass half full perspective might call them "conversion." Given the Christian vision of Gospel hope and eschatological certainty, I far prefer the latter to the former.

Diane said...

I shall consider St. Lucia on this dark evening and I shall consider her still when I light my tree (soon). Come Light & Life. Make haste.