The Weekly Smile – The Start of The Holiday Season

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My Weekly Smile this week could be so many different things, but I’m choosing the beautiful Christmas Market we visited Sunday afternoon.

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It was a magical winter wonderland with tempting smells of Christmas food and candy everywhere, along with Christmas decorations and trees for sale. All the stores were open as well.

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There was a stage with live music, and speeches by local stars, along with an introduction of this years Lucia candidates.

Saint Lucy’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Lucy, is a Christianfeast day celebrated on 13 December in Advent, commemorating Saint Lucy, a 3rd-century martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution, who according to legend brought “food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs” using a candle-lit wreath to “light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible”. Her feast once coincided with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year before calendar reforms, so her feast day has become a Christian festival of light. Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucy’s Day is viewed as an event signaling the arrival of Christmastide, pointing to the arrival of the Light of Christ in the calendar, on Christmas Day.

Saint Lucy’s Day is celebrated most commonly in Scandinavia, with their long dark winters, where it is a major feast day, and in Italy, with each emphasising a different aspect of the story. In Scandinavia, where Saint Lucy is called Santa Lucia in Norwegian and Danish, and Sankta Lucia in Swedish, she is represented as a lady in a white dress (a symbol of a Christian’s white baptismal robe) and red sash (symbolizing the blood of her martyrdom) with a crown or wreath of candles on her head. In Norway, Sweden and Swedish-speaking regions of Finland, as songs are sung, girls dressed as Saint Lucy carry cookies and saffron buns in procession, which “symbolizes bringing the light of Christianity throughout world darkness”. In both Protestant and Catholic churches, boys participate in the procession as well, playing different roles associated with Christmas, such as that of Saint Stephen. It is said that to vividly celebrate Saint Lucy’s Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light.

 

– From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sankta Lucia is a feast many people look forward too. Especially children an elderly. It’s tradition for the elected Lucia and her maids to perform at retirement homes, hospitals etc. And there’s always saffron buns, and gingerbreads involved (often glögg as well, there’s a non alcoholic version, and an adult version of glögg.)

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The First Sunday of Advent is the kickoff for the holiday season here, and I’d say we had a good time. We purchased some gingerbread cookies, to take with us home, since that was what my daughter wanted to do.

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She also got to try a Swedish Christmas soda, Julmust for the first time.

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There’s several different brands of Julmust, but a good one is not very sweet. My daughter liked it a lot. Sharing Swedish culture and tradition with her is something special. There’s been a lot of changes for her, but this is definitely only fun. Like all the snow 🙂 We’re having so much fun in the snow every day! My brother left a sled outside our door a week ago, or so, and we’ve been using it every day! It was also my birthday yesterday, and I am very grateful to experience one more birthday. I spent the day with my daughter, my own sunshine. It was a great day!

Love,

Maria

22 Comments on “The Weekly Smile – The Start of The Holiday Season

  1. Happy birthday!. Sounds like you are having a great time being back in Sweden! Saint Lucy’s Day is not a big thing here, but sounds like a good way to start the Christmas season.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! It was a great time, and yes, we are enjoying Sweden a lot. I didn’t hear about anyone celebrating Saint Lucy’s Day during my 8 years in the US, so I figured an explanation about it was in place. I’m looking forward to my daughter experiencing it for the first time. I think she will enjoy it. In the younger ages boys join the parade as well, dressed up as Santa’s helpers or gingerbread men.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy birthday dear friend! How wonderful to celebrate this year there with family. And what a wonderful way to bring in the Christmas season with your smile this week!! Your daughter looks so happy and the cookies look YUMMY! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you been to Gamla Stan’s (in Stockholm) Christmas market? I was there in 2015 and it was a nice market. The atmosphere in Gamla Stan is special and this market fits perfectly.
    I usually watch the Lucia celebration through SvT Play which I enjoy. I was Lucia a couple of times in Sweden and it is a special celebration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have been to that Christmas market, but it was a long time ago. I love all the old houses in Gamla Stan. My daughter and I watched a little of the Lucia celebration on SVT Play last year, mostly to give her an idea about Lucia. We also watched some YouTube videos. Seeing it in person this year will be fun. I hope you are doing well in all your snow 🙂

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  4. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap 12/2 – 12/8/2019 #weeklysmile | Trent's World (the Blog)

  5. Grattis på födelsedagen from another Viking blogger. I am from Sweden and the celebration of Lucia is big and very emotional too.
    I brought the tradition with me here and there are also big groups of Swedes who organise the celebration each year.

    I saw the Swedish Lucia in St Paul’s Cathedral and that was extraordinary.
    Keep sledging and enjoy the dry snow. 💕.

    Miriam

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