Santa Lucia Day - Little Yule
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SANTA LUCIA DAY

St. Lucia’s Day, festival of lights celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and the Swedish-speaking areas of Finland on December 13 in honour of St. Lucia (St. Lucy). One of the earliest Christian martyrs, St. Lucia was killed by the Romans in 304 CE because of her religious beliefs. St. Lucia's Day is observed on Monday, December 13, 2021.

In Scandinavian countries each town elects its own St. Lucia. The festival begins with a procession led by the St. Lucia designee, who is followed by young girls dressed in white and wearing lighted wreaths on their heads and boys dressed in white pajama-like costume singing traditional songs. The festival marks the beginning of the Christmas season.
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St. Lucia’s Day, festival of lights celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and the Swedish-speaking areas of Finland on December 13 in honour of St. Lucia (St. Lucy). One of the earliest Christian martyrs, St. Lucia was killed by the Romans in 304 CE because of her religious beliefs. St. Lucia's Day is observed on Monday, December 13, 2021.

In Scandinavian countries each town elects its own St. Lucia. The festival begins with a procession led by the St. Lucia designee, who is followed by young girls dressed in white and wearing lighted wreaths on their heads and boys dressed in white pajama-like costume singing traditional songs. The festival marks the beginning of the Christmas season.
Saint Lucy's Day, also called the Feast of Saint Lucy, is a Christian feast day observed on 13 December. The observance commemorates Lucia of Syracuse, an early-4th-century virgin martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution,[1] who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candle lit wreath on her head to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible.[2][3] Her feast day, which coincided with the shortest day of the year prior to calendar reforms, is widely celebrated as a festival of light.[4][5] Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucy's Day is viewed as a precursor of Christmastide, pointing to the arrival of the Light of Christ in the calendar on Christmas Day.[1][6]
St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304. 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 Sweden 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.
The specifics of St. Lucy’s story are a bit muddled, but most sources say St. Lucy was a young Italian woman martyred around AD 310. Lucy was engaged to a man who turned her over to the Roman authorities when she refused to compromise her faith or her virginity before their wedding.

The Romans threatened to force her into prostitution unless she renounced her faith. She refused. But when the authorities tried to physically move her, they couldn’t. Plan B was to stack wood at her feet and burn her, but the flames had no effect. Finally, a soldier ran a spear through Lucy’s throat to make her stop her proclamations of faith, but this, too, failed to kill her. At last, Lucy was given last rites, and only then did she die.
St. Lucia Day is celebrated on December 13th. Lucia (pronounced Lu-chée-a in Italian and Lu-sée-a in Swedish) is the patron saint of light in Sweden today is celebrated throughout Europe. Born in Italy in the third century AD to a noble Greek family, Lucia was brought up a in a time of severe persecution for those of the Christian faith. Devastated by plans for an arranged marriage to a pagan man, Lucia renounced the wedding and chose to dedicate her life to God and give her share of the family fortune—her dowry—to the poor. Her behavior was viewed as so strange she was thought to be possessed with evil spirits. Lucia steadfastly clung to her faith and was martyred on December 13, 304.
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