Posts tagged ‘somerset holidays’

December 16, 2011

St. Lucia

One of my best friends, Katherine, is Norwegian and I remember learning a little about St. Lucia’s day from her.  Here is a very compact version of “St. Lucy’s Day:”

Around Christmas time in Scandanavia, one of the biggest celebrations is St. Lucia’s Day (or St. Lucy’s Day) on December 13th. The celebration comes from stories that were told by Monks who first brought Christianity to that area.

St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. Lucy means ‘light’ so this is a very appropriate name.

December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, in the old ‘Julian’ Calendar and a pagan festival of lights in Scandanavia was turned into St. Lucia’s Day.

St. Lucia’s Day is now celebrated by a girl dressing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head. (Normally electric candles are used for safety!) The crown is made of Lingonberry branches which are evergreen and symbolise new life in winter. Schools normally have their own St. Lucias and some town and villages also choose a girl to play St. Lucia in a procession where carols are sung.

In the latest edition of Somerset Holidays & Celebrations a very talented artist made some wonderful boxes topped with little vignettes depicting St. Lucia’s Day.  I thought that one of these adorable boxes would be a nice handmade present for my Norwegian friend. ( Actually, I think St. Lucia’s Day is more of a Swedish tradition but I think she’ll appreciate it just the same!)  This project was so much fun to do and I love the way it turned out!  I hope Katherine likes it!

The box is covered with old sheet music and the top is layered with cotton batting that is sprinkled with lots of glittery crystal snow.The little trees are tiny fringed strips of book pages rubbed with a green ink pad, then flipped up to form little branches. They are also covered in glittery crystal snow, then tiny red beads are glued on to look like berries.


The trees are little pieces of fringed book pages rubbed with a green ink pad. The ends are turned up to look like branches, then they are all lightly covered with glue and sprinkled with the glittery crystal snow. Red beads are then added to look like red berries. The trees are mounted on disks under the cotton batting.

The lilttle bird is ceramic and she is also covered with glitter. She carries a star banner made with butcher’s twine. The crown on her head is made of tiny leaves cut out of larger artificial leaves from a bunch of flowers I had laying around and the tiny candles are painted toothpicks!

Now I may have to make one for myself. . .

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