Saturday, December 13, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac December 13 | St Lucia/Goddess Lucina

Feast day of St Lucy of Syracuse

(Cypress arbor vitae, Thuja cupressioides, is today's plant, dedicated to this saint)

It’s December 13 and we see that the Solstice is close, whether we speak of the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, or Winter in the Northern. As today is one of the shortest days of the year in Sweden, the locals celebrate a festival of light (which is appropriate because the root for 'Lucy' in Latin, lux, means 'light'). On this day the youngest daughter in many households, dressed in white as ‘Sankta Lucia’, wearing a headdress of evergreen leaves and a crown of lit candles, wakes the rest of the family with coffee, rolls, and a special song. Swedes begin their Christmas celebrations with this day, and traditionally her patronal day marks the end of harvest.

St Lucy (283-304), with her associations with light, is the patron saint of people who are blind or have eye trouble. She was born in Syracuse, Sicily, the daughter of noble and wealthy parents, and was raised a Christian ...

Saint Lucy/Goddess Lucina
In the Roman Empire, Lucina was an epithet for Juno as "she who brings children into light". Lucia is still honoured on St Lucia’s Day as the girl wearing the candle crown, usually the first-born daughter of the house, is symbolic of pagan symbols of fire and life-giving light. Lucina was the goddess of childbirth who safeguarded the lives of women in labour.

Juno was the equivalent in Roman Mythology of the Greek goddess Hera ...

This is just a snippet of today's stories. Read all about today in folklore, historical oddities, inspiration and alternatives at the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days, every day. Click today's date when you're there.


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