Bitch! No, Lucia is a saint!

At 6:30 AM there's a segment for kids on the national radio programme, P3. It's a story about a 13 year old girl called Ruth. Now, I'm not particularly fond of it, it's for kids, after all. But one thing I do find interesting about is that they swear. Yes, the 13 girl called Ruth actually swears! She calls a class mate, who's her arch enemy, a bitch in preactically every episode.

Should you just randomly go around calling people a bitch? Well, probably not. But I'm happy to live in a country where doing so doesn't cause an uproar. Not even when it's children who do so. ;-)

Today is Lucia's day, the festival of light, celebrated in memory of the Italian Santa Lucia. A young girl, dressed in white and wearing a crown of blazing candles, brings light into the dark winter at homes, hospitals, schools and offices.

The 'Lucia Queen' leads the processions mostly consisting of a group of young girls and boys singing traditional carols. In those early ages, the Norse used to celebrated the winter solstice on the same 13th of December, the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The solstice was a magic fest when people particularly feared goblins and ghosts, and bonfires would be burned to celebrate the changing of the course of the sun.

The Norse converted to Christianity around 1000 A.D. starting to adopt Christian traditions and to abandon their pagan beliefs. As the winter solstice festival fell originally on the same day than Saint Lucia's Day, both pagan and Christian traditions mixed to become the modern Lucia celebration: the festival of lights. {link, describes the tradition in Sweden, but it's roughly the same as here and I'm too lazy to find a better link.}

I too have participated in such Lucia processions, on at least a couple of occasion. I was always afraid that the hot wax from the candle would drip on my hands. Ow. But I don't think it ever did.

Santa Lucia procession

Santa Lucia procession. Strangely, it seems to be a boy who's the Lucia 'queen' in this procession...

Monday, December 13, 2004 posted by Wardi @ 4:39 PM