FESTIVAL OF SAINT LUCIA
Saint Lucy’s Day is celebrated most commonly in Scandinavia, with their long dark winters, where it is a major feast day. As well as in Italy, with each emphasising a different aspect of the story. In Scandinavia, where Saint Lucy is called Santa Lucia in Norwegian and Sankta Lucia in Swedish, she is represented as a lady in a white dress (a symbol of a Christian’s white baptismal robe) and red sash (symbolising the blood of her martyrdom) with a crown or wreath of candles on her head. In Norway, Sweden and Swedish-speaking regions of Finland, as songs are sung, girls dressed as Saint Lucy carry cookies and saffron buns in procession, which “symbolizes bringing the light of Christianity throughout world darkness.” [Find Out More on Wikipedia]
The coronation ceremony of the Swedish Lucía and the Canarian Lucía happens every year in the south, a tradition that has been celebrated for 56 ( 2019) years by twinning Luléa, a town in north Sweden, and the municipality of Santa Lucía de Tirajana in the south west of Gran Canaria, with two complimentary representatives of purity and light.
Every year the people of Luléa, Sweden, send their elected “Lucia” to join her Canarian counterpart here on the island in the run up to the Yule Time holidays. Often these two young girls, with lights in their hair, will visit various events in the north and the south in the days before the main event in the tiny mountain village of Santa Lucia, in the Tirajana Valley
On December 13th the fiestas in honour of the patron saint, Santa Lucía, are held. These fiestas have been declared a tourist attraction, as they manage to combine religious festivals with public sentiment.
Arising from this combination of originality and tradition are events such as the procession of the image of Santa Lucía on December 13th, the crowning of ‘La Lucía’ together with her Swedish namesake
Both Lucia’s are usually crowned on the eve of the feast day at a service in the Ecumenical Church in Playa del Inglés as well as attending the annual Swedish Choir concert at the British Church of Las Palmas, Holy Trinity, on the north of the island.
- The Feast of Santa Lucia also signifies the upcoming main feast day of the town, born out of the agricultural past of the municipality, the Pilgrimage of the Workers Romería de Los Labradores, which is celebrated on the weekend nearest to December 17th ( in 2019 the Romería is on 22nd of December ) and very well attended by thousands of the faithful who descend on the picturesque little village of Santa Lucia every year in traditional canarian costume.
Saint Lucy’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Lucy, is a Christian feast day celebrated on 13 December in Advent, commemorating Saint Lucy, a 3rd-century martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution, who according to legend brought “food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs” using a candle-lit wreath to “light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible”.Her feast once coincided with the WinterSolstice, the shortest day of the year before calendar reforms, so her feast day has become a Christian festival of light. Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucy’s Day is viewed as an event signaling the arrival of Christmastide, pointing to the arrival of the Light of Christ in the calendar, on Christmas Day.