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St. LUCIA 

and the celebration of dec. 13th

 

 

 

LUCIA CELEBRAITON - December 13.th

Advent is a latin word originally meaning  "arrival". During time of Advent we prepare for Christmas to come, and are looking forward to the arrival of the Child. Making cookies, buying gifts and cleaning the entire house sort of "belongs to"  our time of Advent.

 

Advent starts 4 Sundays ahead of Christmas - and is the very beginning of the Church year calendar. Colour of Liturgi is violet.  In the year 2009  1. Sunday of Advent is November 29.th. and  the 4th. Sunday of Advent is December 20th.

The name "Lucia" means "light". She suffered death as a martyr on Sisily in year 303 or 304. The tale says that she was young, rich and beautiful. She choose to devote her life to God. A rejected suitor informed the authorities, during the bloody persecution of Christians under the reign of Emperor Diokletian. She was to be taken by an oxecart through the town, but the oxes refused to move at all. A bonfire was made under her feet, but the flames wouldn't burn. At last she was killed by a sword, but she stayed alive until a Christian priest  had given her the last Communion. On the place where she, due to the legendary, a church has been built.

St. Lucia is saint for the sight, and protector of the light. Even if the tradition of her celebraition traditionally is strongest in Italy and Sweeden, she's celebraited in a lot of countries, both in greek- and roman-Catholic countries. The celebraiton of our time is during the darkest week of the year - and then it's nice with a white-dressed Lucia and children, and a lot of candlelight.

 

 

THE LUCIA-SONG IN ITALIEN                         

(  OBS - The tune is Italian -  two and two lines shal be sung twice) 

//Sul mare luccica l'astro d'argento 
Placida l'onda, prospero il vento.// 
//Venite all'agile barchetta mia!
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!//
Con questo zeffiro cos soave,

oh! com' bello star sulla nave!

Su passeggeri, venite via!
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
O dolce Napoli, o suol beato,
ove sorridere volle il creato!
Tu sei l'impero dell'armonia!
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
Or che tardate? Bella la sera
Spira un'auretta fresca e leggera.
Venite all'agile barchetta mia,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

In Norway, the celebration is mixed up with the pre-Christian celebration of the ancient Witch Lussi. She was evil - and had to be avoided - specially this time of Year.  The "Lussi-night" is from old age known as the longest and darkest night of the Year. This night - beeing the old viking mid-winter night - was filled with evil. Witches and all other dark forces were out - and on this night the animals were supposed to have the ability to speak.

 

In Norway it's particulary the kindergardens picked up the Lucia-tradtion. It's quite a mooving event when all the kids are entering very early in the morning; dressed in white, singing. carrying candles, stars and baskets filled with the cakes "Lussekatter".  You'll definately feel a strange mood and probably get a few tears in your eyes..............it can really not be described.

And, my oldest grandson was a "Starboy" in his kikndergarden in 2001!

Lussekatter (Lucia Buns)

Saffron threads, approximately 0.5 grams, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 and 1/4 cup milk, 7 Tablespoons butter, melted 3 cakes of fresh yeast (0.6 ounces each), 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, beaten, 3 and 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for kneading.  Glaze: 1 egg, 3 Tablespoons milk.

Rub saffron threads and one teaspoon of sugar together and set aside. Heat the milk to lukewarm, about 99 degrees Fahrenheit, and add the melted butter along with the saffron-sugar mixture. Crumble the yeast in a bowl and pour about 1/4 cup of the warm saffron milk on top and stir gently. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt and let rest five minutes. Add the remainder of the sugar, the milk, 3 cups of flour and the beaten egg and stir with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour on top and knead dough in the bowl for several minutes, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky to handle. Dust the top of the dough with flour,and cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm, dry place until double in size, about 60 to 90 minutes.Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead for 5 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Divide the dough into small pieces and roll the dough bits into an S or other traditional Lucia shape. Decorate with raisins. Place buns on a cookie sheet that has been covered in parchment paper. Cover buns with a clean cloth and let rise again until double in size, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the glaze by beating one egg with 3 Tablespoons milk. Brush the tops of the buns with the glaze just prior to baking. Bake 5 to 10 minutes; cool on a rack.

 

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