A Celebration of Light with the Monday Guides

In Scandinavia there’s a beautiful celebration in December called Santa Lucia  which takes place on December 13th.  It’s the beginning of the Christmas season in those countries and is a celebration of light – at the time of year when the world is darker.

Behind the celebration is the story of Santa Lucia, who is also known as Saint Lucy.  She stood up for her faith in Christ and experienced God’s power to heal her eyes after they had been blinded. (This is a very brief synopsis of the story!)

At 72nd (Monday Guides) we decided to have our own Santa Lucia celebration.  The  tradition on Santa Lucia Day is for the oldest girl in the family to dress up as St Lucy in a white robe with a red sash and wear a crown of candles and evergreen foliage.  Other girls  dressed similarly follow her in a procession, but without the crown.  Everyone carries a lighted candle to represent the Light of the World who came to earth at Christmas.

Throughout the day girls will be dressed as Santa Lucia in schools, shopping centres, churches and other public places singing Santa Lucia songs and handing out ginger cookies and saffron buns.

We couldn’t manage all of that but each girl dressed in white, had a red sash and a green garland on their heads, and everyone carried a lighted candle.  We processed into the sanctuary, sang a St Lucy song and reflected on the meaning of the candle – Jesus as the Light of the World;  the white dress – symbolising the purity of life that St Lucy demonstrated; the red sash – reminding us that Jesus died on the cross for us; and the evergreen crown – representing his everlasting presence with us as King.

No celebration is complete without food, so after we had processed out we ate Saffron Buns to complete the tradition.

NB  I think I should add that nowadays boys also join the procession! They carry wands with stars, representing the Star of Bethlehem.

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13th Dec 2017 Posted in: Linked Blog Posts by Stella Jennings
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