Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dec 13: St Lucy of Syracuse

Saint LucyFeast day of St Lucy of Syracuse
(Cypress arbor vitae, Thuja cupressoides, 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 the Winter Solstice in the Northern. As today is one of the shortest days of the year in Sweden (and was, in fact, the Winter Solstice prior to the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1753 – see Swedish calendar), the locals celebrate a festival of light (which is appropriate because the root for 'Lucy' in Latin, lux, means 'light'). On this day an elected girl 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.
Nessie's 1933 appearance, at the Book of Days (May 2, 1933)


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