Sunday, December 13, 2009

St. Lucia Day

Today (December 13) is the feast of St. Lucia, a young Italian maiden martyred for her faith. St. Lucia lived in Sicily during the early part of the 4th century, a time of paganism, she had committed her life to Christ and she ministered to persecuted Christians and the poor.
It is said that she brought food and hope to Christians that were hiding from persecution in the catacombs, she would wear a wreath with lit candles on her head to light her way as she carried her parcels.
St. Lucia Day is an important festival celebrated in Sweden, it is said that the story of St. Lucia was carried to Scandinavian countries by missionaries.

Last night we went to a St. Lucia Festival that was celebrated by a Swedish American Children's Club at a Lutheran Church near where we live. Raymond's cousin Wendy has a daughter (Heather) that participates in the festival and she belongs to the Club and she has learned to speak Swedish as well as learning Swedish folk dancing. This year she was one of the maids in the Lucia Festival and next year she will play the part of St. Lucia.

This video picture is not from the festival we attended but the pictures below it are (I just wanted you to have a sample of what we are treated to each year!):

After the Lucia Ceremony we went to the auditorium for coffee and cake, and there was Swedish music, song, and folk dancing:

This is Heather in her original folk costume that belonged to Ray's grandmother (I love when treasures are passed down like this!). Each municipality had it's own costume.

There were some really tiny ones that belonged to the Club too, they looked so cute in their costumes and dancing along with the older ones. I said I wished that Jayden and Mia would join!

There were tables set up selling some Swedish wares and they had a Viking helmet and sword that Ray got for Jayden. Here's his niece Erika trying it on for size!

Jayden was asleep by the time we got home but he put on the helmet and took up the sword as soon as he woke up this morning!

Today I invited the family over to celebrate St. Lucia Day with some Swedish food.

Of course we had Swedish meatballs:

I also made Ray's family recipe of Lada:

We had lingonberry perserves:

We had gravy:

And we had two types of cheese with crackers and Swedish crispbread:

Ray made his family recipe of pankake:

And he also made mini pumpkin cheesecake muffins:

We all ate a lot! And we had fun watching Mia and Jayden play together.

And they regaled us with some Christmas songs.
Well, I'm very tired and I'm heading up to bed but I'll leave you with this:

(Ray was able to capture Mia with her version of O Christmas Tree)


  1. OH we got to see and hear Mia!! What a cute little voice she has. Fun too seeing all the food you made...oh my goodness you were busy. I hope you do more videos of your home and grandkids, and whatever else you want to share. I love getting to know you better.

  2. What a wonderful post, Eileen! That tradition of Santa Lucia with the girls is so lovely, and their voices are awesome. So is Mia's. She is such a doll! I always love your posts.


    Sheila :-)

  3. Was that not THE sweetest video of our Mia (I can call her that...I hope...I feel like she is part of the family....our blogging family. I love to hear children sing....precious! Just the best word for describing her: precious!
    OK...I've decided that you are Julia Child's long-lost niece...and that you have been keeping this from us all this time! Uhm hmm. And...the photos...well, I'm digging into the geneology tree of photographers to see the lineage there.
    Be back later with a report.
    Your blog is usual!
    (I love the costumes that have been kept and passed on....treasures. Thank you for sharing in this festivity with us.)

  4. How wonderful! We are part Swedish and know about St. Lucia! We have lingonberries and rice at Christmas, pickled herring, solta (sp?) and lefse. I really only like the lingonberries and rice- tee hee... Love the tradition of it all. My grandparents would have loved this festival! We have nothing like that here... Thank you so much for sharing, Eileen. You are such a treasure to all who know you.:) Lori

  5. My goodness, what a wonderful time you all must have had!!! I worked at Swedish Hospital after graduating from nursing school, oh so many years ago, and they would have a wonderful feast for us at Christmas time. "Thanks for the memories!!!" Cathy

  6. Your photos of the St. Lucia Festival were great Eilene and I agree with Jackie...your inner chef is showing. Is Lada a cheese sauce or cream sauce macaroni dish? With the Swedish meatballs, gravy, cheese and deserts, you had a perfect meal that I'm sure your family enjoyed. Hope you got your share!
    As always, Jayden and Mia are so cute and sweet, especially Mia singing O Christmas Tree!


    I so love your Christmas traditions, events, and sharing. Mia sings beautifully. Big applause from me. And I really appreciated the story of St Lucia - and the choir was amazing. And the food? Oh folks know hot to eat.
    I loved this post - :-)

    Love Gail

  8. You do such a great job of sharing interesting things..I just love it. Do you have a St. Lucia wreath for your pretty head, Eileen?

    So sorry you felt I was not popping up and you were kind of used to it...sniff, sniff...have to change that, don't I?

    Jayden and Mia are so precious.

    blessings and tons of hugs,


  9. Hi Eileen,
    I think you should be doing the 365 day food are my hero, and I think you are actually Julia Childs in disguise! Everything looked wonderful! I want those recipe's, even if they are not healthy...must be my Swedish background, my mom was a Johnson, and my grandma and grandpa acutally were born in Sweden...the never really celebrated their Swedish Tradition, but my ex is Danish, and we always had a 'Christmas Smorgesbord' and I love the way they celebrate...(pickled hering and right down to adkvit spelled wrong I am sure) looks like a lot of fun, and I loved seeing the costumes, and especially, I enjoyed hearing Mia precious is that! (((HUGS)))

  10. How wonderful! The story of Santa Lucia is inspiring, the tradition SO worth carrying on, your pictures very illustrative, and that food! What more can one say. Mia's song - so sweet. God bless us everyone!

  11. Hi Sweetie! I love learning about different holiday customs, and this one is so interesting!! Sounds like St. Lucia was a lovely person!!

    LOVE hearing Mia sing!! How totally precious is that??!!

    Hope your holiday preps are going well, and that your heart is just full of the joy of the Lord!!
    You're a delight to all who know you, Eileen!!
    Have a wonderful week, my friend!
    Love and hugs,

  12. Oh Eileen this post was so worth waiting for. Heather is beautiful and I love that she is wearing her grandmother's outfit....and the food looks delicious....even more tradition, I love it! Then you treat us all with sweet little Mia singing and I love how she pronounced lovely...priceless.....big hugs to Jayden and Mia......:-) Hugs

  13. This is such a beautiful post! The children are precious as always and the food! MY GOODNESS I think that keeping tradition is by far the most wonderful thing in the world. You DO NOT want to move away "later" when you decide to retire! YOU would be LOST and so SAD all the time not being able to visit places in New York that are so special to you! I love visiting your blog and taking trips through memory lane with you! Don't stop! hugs...