Wednesday, December 14, 2011
There is a site dedicated to Christmas hearts.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Although the tradition is imported from Sweden it differs somewhat in that the celebration has always been strongly centered on Christianity and it is a yearly local event in most churches in conjunction with Christmas. Schools and kindergartens also use the occasion to mark the event as a special day for children on one of the final days before the Christmas holidays but it does not have much impact anywhere else in society.
There are many legends associated with Lucia starting in fourth century Sicily. A young woman gave her dowry away to the poor and confessed herself a Christian. For this she was accused of witchcraft and put to death. Another legend tells of a famine in medieval days. A glowing figure dressed in white, Saint Lucia came across a great lake in the province of Värmland, Sweden. She brought gifts of food to the starving people. These legends vary, but Lucia shines as a symbol of light and hope in them all.
Although not widely observed, there are a number of additional historical traditions connected with the celebration. The night before, candles are lit and all electrical lights are turned off and on the Sunday closest to December 13, Danes traditionally attend church.
The Danish versions of the Neapolitan song clearly reflect its close connection to Christianity.