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Thursday, March 20, 2008


Santa Lucia (1956)- Stars Edna Luna (in the title role), Arsenia Francisco, Eddie Del Mar, Corazon Rivas, Jose Romulo, Carol Varga, Lauro Delgado, Ramon D' Salva, Ruben Rustia/ Directed by Teodorico C. Santos

In Sweden, December 13 is Luciadagen, or St. Lucia's Day. It is the beginning of their holiday season. St. Lucia was a young woman who lived in first century Rome. She was a Christian who would not give up her faith to marry an unbeliever. She was tortured and killed by order of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian.

Stories of her courage were brought to
Sweden by missionaries where she became known as the Lucia Bride. Old people said the Lucia Bride would go out early in the morning to bring food and drink to the poor. She wore white robes and a crown of light.

The story is acted out in Swedish homes with the oldest daughter playing the Lucia Bride. Early in the morning on December 13, she brings her parents a tray of sweet saffron buns and some coffee. She wears a white gown and a crown of greens, often made of holly. Her sisters and brothers dress in white and follow her. The girls carry lit candles and the boys wear tall, pointed caps and are called "star boys."

St. Lucia
is also honored in Sicily, where she was born. Christians there gather to celebrate her day with bonfires and torchlight parades...a fitting celebration since Lucia means "light."

Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian www.billpetro.com/holidayhistory

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