14 December 2008

It's Santa Lucia Day!!!

Early in the morning, on December 14th each year, the Swedes celebrate Santa Lucia Day. The saint and tradition stem originally from Italy, and you can find out more about that via the web. In Sweden, the the girl dressed as Santa Lucia, as well as her followers, wake Mom and Dad early with a tray of saffron bread and other baked goodies along with a pot of fresh coffee -- a pretty nice way to wake up -- along with a variety of Swedish Christmas songs, including the hymn Santa Lucia naturally.

As you can see in the photograph above, the girls who wear candles on their heads protect their hair from fire with a damp towel, worn beneath the crown. In years gone by, it was the prettiest girl in a village who was chosen to be Santa Lucia. However, I have it on good authority (my former Swedish teacher at the University of Pittsburgh) that things are rather different today. Apparently, ALL of the girls get to dress up as the saint now if they want to, including the children of immigrants to Sweden, in the name of egalitarianism. The idea behind that is nice, but I think that the tradition has been watered down a little bit as a result, which is kind of sad. But that's just me.

The Christmas open house at our place was lots of fun last night. The Grand Duchess and I had guests from France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Kenya, China, and Minnesota as well as a host of friends and acquaintances from the U.S. of A. It was, we agreed later, one of the nicest functions we've had. Lots of good conversation, laughter, food, and music. At one point, there was a discussion about the use of blogs, so naturally I was able to hold forth on this subject for a few minutes, which led, in turn, to an opportunity to show off the wargaming figures and table in the next room to interested parties. Unfortunately, all of that means that my carefully guarded geekiness is now common currency! ;-)

Today, it's on to those final four chapters, which are waiting to be proofread just to my left, so I can send everything off tomorrow. And then it's on to tallying and submitting the final course grades for two of my courses this past semester. If there is time this evening, I'll try to get moving on relaying certain requested information to Jonathan, so we can get on with the current turn of The Action at Pickelhaubewicz. . . Finally, if there is any time left before my eyes begin to close, I'll work on another couple of those fusiliers. We'll see.


Bluebear Jeff said...

Did any of your guests seem interested enough in the game to perhaps become converts?

I've been surprised over the years at how many people get drawn into the hobby once they see someone else plays it.

-- Jeff

Fitz-Badger said...

I always wondered about the Swedes making such a big celebration about an Italian saint. I've never heard if the Italians also celebrate the saint day (or to similar extent).

I'm not going to comment on "geekiness". That would be like the pot calling the kettle black! LOL

Snickering Corpses said...

You know, I was doing just fine on the Saint Lucia traditions, reading with interest, quite seriously. Then you had to go and mention "Santa Lucia", and all my seriousness went out the door with memory of transmitting pizza recipes and the words to Santa Lucia via telephone to GHQ London, via radio to submarine, via radio to prison camp. "It's not for me, it's for Goldilocks." *


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