Santa Lucia: Waking Up

music
ambience: Swedish carols

Today, Swedish families mark the unofficial start of the Christmas season, and the beginning of the long journey toward Spring. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Today is Santa Lucia’s Day, a holiday which celebrates the victory of light over the darkness of Winter. Like many Swedish-American women, Pulse of the Planet listener Linda Anderson has fond memories of dressing up as her family’s ‘Lucia’ when she was a girl. Well first, Linda and her mother would prepare a special breakfast bread called Lucia Bullar.

“We would bake the Lucia Bullar the night before, and in the early morning when it was still dark, my mother woke me up and we would go downstairs and make the coffee and get a tray ready with he Bullar on it. And then she would light candles on my head, and we would then walk upstairs with the lights glowing on my crown, singing the song of Santa Lucia, and wake my father up with the coffee and the Bullar.”

The burning candles in a young Lucia’s crown are meant to symbolize the coming of spring, and the victory of light and hope over darkness. As Lucia moves through the house waking the family before dawn, the words to a traditional Swedish carol celebrate her entrance.

“Around the earth, forsaken by the sun, the shadows are lurking. Then into our darkened house, enters with candles lit, Santa Lucia. The day shall be new again and rise from a Rosy sky. Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation.

I’m Jim Metzner.

Santa Lucia: Waking Up

Serving sweet bread and wearing a crown of candles, young Swedish girls represent Saint Lucia in an early morning ritual.
Air Date:12/13/2005
Scientist:
Transcript:


music
ambience: Swedish carols

Today, Swedish families mark the unofficial start of the Christmas season, and the beginning of the long journey toward Spring. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Today is Santa Lucia's Day, a holiday which celebrates the victory of light over the darkness of Winter. Like many Swedish-American women, Pulse of the Planet listener Linda Anderson has fond memories of dressing up as her family's 'Lucia' when she was a girl. Well first, Linda and her mother would prepare a special breakfast bread called Lucia Bullar.

"We would bake the Lucia Bullar the night before, and in the early morning when it was still dark, my mother woke me up and we would go downstairs and make the coffee and get a tray ready with he Bullar on it. And then she would light candles on my head, and we would then walk upstairs with the lights glowing on my crown, singing the song of Santa Lucia, and wake my father up with the coffee and the Bullar."

The burning candles in a young Lucia's crown are meant to symbolize the coming of spring, and the victory of light and hope over darkness. As Lucia moves through the house waking the family before dawn, the words to a traditional Swedish carol celebrate her entrance.

"Around the earth, forsaken by the sun, the shadows are lurking. Then into our darkened house, enters with candles lit, Santa Lucia. The day shall be new again and rise from a Rosy sky. Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation.

I'm Jim Metzner.