Saturday, 13 December 2014

My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar - 13 December (Lucia)

Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent Calendar!  Join me every day in opening a new door.  Once again, I’ve got a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes, traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes…  So sit back, relax and enjoy!

13 DECEMBER

Okay, so there are no prizes for guessing what I’m writing about today…  13 December means one thing and one thing only.  Santa Lucia!  A candlelight, singing procession – just before the sun comes up or goes down – on St. Lucia Day, the 13th of December.  Lead by the Lucia-brud (‘Lucia bride’) – she’s the girl with the crown of candles in her hair – her followers wearing long white robes and bearing candles.  A tradition stolen from our neighbours – those silly (but lovable) Swedes.  This is what it looked like when my DD12 took part in the procession a couple of years ago.  8.15am and it was still pitch black outside…


 Making their way through the corridors and the school library...



And, no – your eyes do not deceive you…  The girls carry real, lighted candles.  And the staff – selvfølgelig - take plenty of precautions.  One of the girls got her hair just a bit too close to the flame (have you ever noticed that almost every young Danish girl has long hair?! not a smart bob in sight!) and her hair got singed ever so slightly.  With that awful telltale smell into the bargain! ;-) But the teachers were on hand immediately and nothing worse happened.  All in a day’s work for a Danish teacher!  The Lucia girls thought it was exciting and have a story to tell.  And I’m glad to live in a country where they don’t use fear mongering and ban lighted candles – but instead carry on the tradition, use their common sense and teach the kids respect for open flames.  Hooray for those crazy Danes!  But for the faint at heart, battery operated candles are available...



If you want to hear the Lucia song, and get a real feeling of what it’s like to watch the small kids go by, here’s a cute little video from a Danish school.  Not a dry Mum’s eye in the house, I’m sure! :)



And will you be eating lussekatter today ('St Lucia' saffron buns)?  They're very popular in Sweden but that tradition didn't really catch on here in Denmark.



But, hey, be careful with those candles out there.  And don’t forget to check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!

Diane :)

4 comments:

Norma said...

I love this. I was sent a little filmed clip this week of my youngest darling Danish granddaughter (age 4 yrs) singing the Lucia song with her Kindergarden and I don't know about the Mum's but this Granny had tears in her eyes. Thank you Dianne for your lovely Advent Calendar.
Norma

Renaye Clifton said...

Thank you for your posting. I will be following to learn more about my Danish heritage. I am not familiar with St. Lucia, please tell me why she is celebrated.
Thank you,
Renaye

Diane said...

Hi Renaye! Clink on the green link at the beginning of my post "St. Lucia Day" for all the background info on Saint Lucy. :)

Diane said...

Hi Norma and thank you! We've been going around with the song in our heads all day... ;)