Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Supplement ~ Rome~Copenhagen~Sweden ~Oklahoma.

In Rome on this day, December 13, a Festival in honor of ancient Earth goddess Tellus was held. It seems appropriate that the climate conference in Copenhagen is going on at this time - a modern attempt to honor our Mother Earth as she ought to be honored.

In Sweden and Norway, the Sun Goddess Lucina and/or Catholic Saint Lucy is still celebrated and honored on this day each year with a traditional festival of light: St. Lucia's Day (also known as Little Yule). At daybreak, the first-born daughter of the house wears a candle crown in obvious reference to the Pagan symbols of fire and life giving light, and serves her family cakes. There are processions and treats. Young girls often wear white dresses and many of the men dress as elves, who are known as Lucina's helpers.

The Feast of St Lucy: Luciadagen

And I will stay awake throughout the longest winter night
And dress up in a red silk sash and flowing gown of white
And serve my parents with warm sweets and sing for their delight.
And I will wear upon my head a crown of fragrant green
Ablaze with tall white candles, with golden candle-gleam,
And I will be a Lussibrud as in some wondrous dream.
And as the night begins to fade I'll greet December sun
And knock on all the neighbors' doors and sing t o everyone
And offer all the friends I greet a golden saffron bun.
Lucia maidens will come too, with silver in their hair
And star boys with their studded wands and pointed caps to wear,
And elfin boys will follow us as we walk everywhere.
And I will stay awake throughout the longest winter night
And dress up in my silken sash, my crown, my robe of white
And I will be, for one brief day, Lucia of the Light.

Myra Cohn Livingston, The Feast of St. Lucy: Luciadagen

And in Oklahoma, yesterday evening on a cold misty Saturday night we went out to the local theater to see "2Tone", a duo on harp and guitar playing jazzy versions of well-known tunes, and a few self-penned. It was an unusual mix - harp and guitar. We were very pleasantly surprised at how well they blended, and how very listenable and memorable the performance was. Their version of Sting's "Fragile" was absolutely beautiful. Their music pleased both me (not particularly hip, up for anything melodic and emotional) and himself (jazz and music elitist).

On the way home, in tune with the festival of lights held elsewhere in the world, my husband took a couple of shots of pretty festive lights on some houses in our neighbourhood. Lights this year are more restrained than in previous years, as I recall. If this is due to environmental considerations, I'm glad. If it's due to dire economical straits, I'm not so glad for the respective householders. We've not been inclined to put lights in our front yard. Our first attempt to join in the fun resulted in the destruction of an expensive lit Christmas tree by gale-force winds. We now satisfy tradition with a seasonal wreath on the front porch, and leaving the porch light on.


Laura said...

The pictures of those houses all lit up for Xmas look so beautiful. I think you are right though about people cutting back on decorations due to financial constraints, not so much for the environmental benefit.

Twilight said...

Laura ~~~ Yes, in the area where we live people are not unduly concerned about the environment, I'm sad to say, so you are probably right.

R J Adams said...

That candle crown sounds a bit dodgy. Long tresses could well catch fire, to say nothing of all that candle grease running onto the scalp - ugh!


Personally, I'd put more faith in the Festival of Tellus, than that shower arguing over money in Copenhagen right now. Even the most optimistic commentators are gloomy.

anthonynorth said...

The world is lighting up for Xmas. At least, there's some faith left in it - unlike Copenhagen.

Michelle said...

Wonderful post, Twilight.

Sorry I've been so scarce - just too many things lately!

I found an interesting blog and thought you might enjoy it too:

lol word verification is.. Pyrus

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ In the photo it looks as though little light bulbs have replaced candles - probably much to the relief of the gals. :-)

Copenhagen seems to be disintegrating into the ususal useless, careless and uncaring arguments. Sigh.

Twilight said...

anthonynorth ~~~ Yes. I'd hoped that this time we might see some sense coming out of the conference, but I was too optimistic it appears.

Twilight said...

Michelle ~~Hi there! Not to worry - I realise there's lots going on apart from blogs! :-) I've cut down my own trawls around blogland recently too.

Thanks for the link - I'll check it out. :-)