Saturday, December 11, 2010

Santa Lucia Day ~ December 13

Santa Lucia is another Festival of Light, in the Waldorf Calendar of Festivals, celebrated on December 13, which was, under the Julian calendar, the Winter Solstice. Hence, the saying:

Lucy light
The shortest day and
The longest night

I had a dream when I was in my twenties of being inside a large, boxy house with a large center staircase. The house was uncomfortably dark. I heard a voice say "Lucia." I was undertaking Jungian work at the time so I delved wholeheartedly into this mysterious Lucia and learned about the Saint who brought light in dark times, who nourished the hungry, who gave all she had and endured much torture for her faith. Her crown of candles lit the way through dark tunnels to bring food to the starving and she crossed a lake to bring food to the hungry who had none, according to lore. She is loved and celebrated by Italians, Scandanavians, Waldorfians and others. More here and here.

Many years later, on a remote island in the South Pacific, I had the good fortune to experience the celebration of Santa Lucia, thanks to a Swedish friend and her family. Later, upon returning to this country and joining a Waldorf community, I heard the children sing the Santa Lucia song. It resonated deeply within. I grew up Catholic and love to find images of the sacred in the feminine. I looked forward to the day when my children would experience Santa Lucia . My second grader is now homeschooling and we are celebrationg at home in these ways:

1. Singing ~ The Santa Lucia song is sung here in Swedish, sheet music here.
The Neapolitan verion is here sung by Enrico Caruso.

You can watch a Santa Lucia procession here.



Santa Lucia, Thy light is glowing
All through the darkest night, comfort bestowing
Dreams float on wings of night,
Comes then the morning light
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia

Through silent winter gloom, Thy song comes winging to
Waken the Earth anew, Glad carols bringing,
Come thou, oh queeen of Night,
Wearing thy crown so bright,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia, Christmas foretelling,
Fill hearts with hope and cheer, Dark fear dispelling,
Bring to the world's call,
Peace and goodwill to all,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia


2. Baking ~ This year, I am spluging on saffron to make Lussekattor or Lucy Buns, a sweet dough with almonds and cardomom. Here is a recipe. Other Santa Lucia baking includes Santa Lucia Ring and Swedish Ginger cookies , some of which are heart shaped and spicy.

3. Decorating ~ Since we are a family with boys, we are making Star boys caps and Star wands, go to this site and scroll down to see a picture of boys with Star boy caps and wands.

4. Story ~ This is a tough one, for the stories of Santa Lucia are gruesome, of tourture, eye gouging and decapitation. She was a matyr, no doubt. So I wrote this simple story:

Once upon a time, over the mountains and sea in a far away land by a lake, there lived a young girl and her mother and father. They were well off and quite comfortable in their means. Lucia's days were filled with skipping and tree climbing and playing with her friends. Lucia helped her mother and was kind to all. One day she came upon a bully and saw that he was hungry. She gave him her warm wool cloak that her mother made for her and he stopped bullying. To the little girl that had holes in her shoes, she gave her own well made shoes. When ever she saw someone in need, she helped them, often giving of herself to do so.

Times were hard for some with not enough food to eat. Across the lake, there was a village full of hungry people. When Lucia heard of this she prayed for help. One night in her dreams a boat came to her which only she could see. She gathered food from her family's stores and loaded into the ship. The night was dark. She cast off from shore in her little boat and headed across the lake. The waters were rough as she sailed across and she took care to be sure the food was secured in the bottom of the boat.

Across the lake fishermen were casting their nets for fish. The children were asleep in their beds with growling hunger. The fishermen looked up and saw the sky clear and the stars begin to shine. In the center of the lake, they saw lights on the crown of Lucia.

Lucia arrived safely ashore and delivered the baskets of grain, oranges, dates, figs and almonds. The fishermen helped her and thanked her. She rested for a short while and sailed back to her bed where she slept soundly through the rest of the night.

5. Drawing ~ We are drawing Santa Lucia with her crown of candles and may foray into pictures of Star Boys as well. I am using the shapes of Saint Lucy Bun for form drawing.

6. The Curriculum ~ See Santa Lucia's day incorporated into homeschooling over at Tattooed Soccer Mom (formerly One Hook Wonder) here

Bright Blessings on you and yours!


Eat :: Sleep :: Play
Celebrate the Rhythm of Life ~ a living curriculum program
Harmonious Rhythms ::  Parenting with Soul :: Waldorf Homeschooling


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for the lovely little story! I just made a St. Lucia and star children figures for my littles but didn't have a story to go with them. :)

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  2. Thank you for the beautiful ritual. I could also recommend a lovely book called "Lucia and the Light" by Phyllis Root and Mary Grandpre.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing. I told your story to my children and they loved it very much. Best wishes for a happy, meaningful celebration.

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  4. Thank you for this. Its wonderful to meet you here. I saw you on the link up. Blesssings

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  5. Thank you for stopping by everyone. I wiah I could offer a cup of tea, bite to eat and a chat around a table! Maybe this is the cyber version..

    ~ Anonymous, thank you for the book suggestion, it's one I have thought about for years. I'm going to get it this year! Bright blessings everyone!

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