This morning early, while still dark, I light three Advent candles and take a moment to think about the meaning of this season.
Today is also Sankta Lucia Day in Sweden:
In the old calendar, December 13th was the longest night of the year. It was also the most dangerous. A night when animals could speak and fairies, trolls, and giants roamed the forests. In the countryside, young people would dress up in costumes and go from house to house, singing songs, eating and drinking with their neighbors.
The custom of a Lucia dressed in white was first recorded in 1764, but didn't become popular until the 19th century.
The tradition continues today. On December 13th, Sankta Lucia Day is celebrated in Sweden with festivals of light across the country. At the darkest time of year, people are reminded that our earth will soon begin to turn toward the light of spring.
According to tradition, the eldest daughter in the family, wearing a white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles, brings coffee and Lucia buns (lussekatter) to her parents in bed.
Yes, that's me, bringing coffee in our best cups to my parents in bed.
During the festivities, the Swedish version of the old Neapolitan song Santa Lucia is sung in schools, homes, and during Lucia parades in cities and towns across Sweden.
Please click on the link below to hear Andrea Bocelli sing a gorgeous version of the original Santa Lucia song.