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Scandinavian Celebration of St. Lucia Tradition 2018

December 9
Dalesburg Lutheran Church, Vermillion
605-253-2602
www.dalesburg.org/

This Scandinavian celebration features a program, Lucia Court with one teenage girl out of four being crowned Lucia and a buffet of Scandinavian food in exchange for a free will donation for area food pantries.

Time: 3:00 PM

The program features Swedish and Scandinavian Christmas hymns, the recitation of the legend of St. Lucia and its modern celebration. It is a time to sing Christmas hymns that were more popular in bygone days.
It is an opportunity to hear the Christmas Gospel read in Swedish, reminiscent of a time when the Scripture readings, sermon and hymns were all in Swedish at the Julotta service early on Christmas Day many years ago. The celebration includes the Swedish/Scandinavian food tradition - a buffet of Lucia buns, fruit soup, thinbread, bread, rice, and meats. The evening closes with ‘Nu Ar Dt Jul Igen’ – Now It Is Christmas [Yule!] Again.”

Guest Speakers:
Andreas Lindstad, 17 years old, from Vingrom, close to Lillehammer, Norway.
Dr. Julia Maren Hellwege, Political Science Professor at USD from Stockholm, Sweden.

The Lucia Tradition has a long history in Sweden and is all about light, caring, and goodwill.
“The tradition goes back to oral accounts of maidens in white dresses appearing with food for hungry people. The tradition goes back to maidens in white appearing during the long winter nights as a promise of shorter winter nights ahead. These oral traditions collected themselves into annual St. Lucia observances in homes, schools, towns and cities in the early 1900s, with the selection of a Lucia with her wreath of candles on her head and her court of white-robed maidens singing songs describing the history and tradition of Lucia and of the Yuletide Season.

Legends paint Lucia as a martyr and saint. She was a young Christian woman living in the 300s in the area now known as Italy, who aided her friends who were hiding in caves during a time of persecution of Christians. According to the legends, Lucia brought food to her friends, using a wreath of candles on her head as a lamp to see in the darkness of the cave.

Her dedication to her Christian values of generosity and caring led to conflict with the Roman authorities and finally to her demise at their hands. It is believed that Christian missionaries coming from Continental Europe brought this legend to Scandinavia where it found fertile ground among the stories of maidens in white appearing in the cold, dark December nights.