112 views 14 comments

Santa Lucia…in the Netherlands

by on December 12, 2009
 

I’m amazed at how many events are happening this period. Sinterklaas and Christmas parties. An amazing time of culture and learning for me.

Today it is the perfectly timed Scandinavia Santa Lucia celebration, and the American School of the Hague, with its large Scandinavian community is putting on a show . I also say perfect because this afternoon, I head north (nordic north for the first time ever) for a relaxing, albeit cold weekend in Copenhagen with my friend, I’ll try to tweet if I can!

IMG_3187

Saint Lucy (Santa Lucia, 283 – 304) was a wealthy young Christian martyr who is venerated as a saint by both Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox Christians. Her feast day in the West is 13 December, by the unreformed Julian calendar the longest night of the year; with a name derived from lux, lucis “light”.

She is the patron saint of those who are blind. Saint Lucy is one of the very few saints celebrated by members of the Lutheran Church among the Scandinavian peoples.

It is celebrated in Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Finland, Malta, Italy, Bosnia, Iceland, Bavaria and Croatia. In traditional celebrations, Saint Lucy comes as a young woman with lights and sweets. It is one of the few saint days observed in Scandinavia. In some forms, a procession is headed by one girl wearing a crown of candles (or lights), while others in the procession hold only a single candle each.

IMG_2943Of course I was there to watch a bit of the procession and see LOADS of food from all around Scandinavia.

IMG_2950IMG_2963 IMG_3034

Now I’ll give you the summary upfront – it was ALL sweet stuff, save for …..

IMG_3017 IMG_3158

One savory tart! No one, least of all me, was complaining!

IMG_2987IMG_2988IMG_3236

Cakes were everywhere, in every form. Wholesome;

IMG_3100 IMG_3104 IMG_3105 IMG_3098 IMG_3039 IMG_3038 IMG_3087

Festive and gaily decorated.

IMG_3253 IMG_3068 IMG_3031 IMG_3028 IMG_3251

Breads were in no short supply either; you can imagine all the cinnamon and cardamom scents, wafting and permeating the air.

IMG_2980 IMG_2956IMG_3083

And so were cookies.

IMG_3002 IMG_2990 IMG_2971IMG_3024IMG_3073

And sweets.

IMG_2978

Pretty decorations..

IMG_2974 IMG_2993 IMG_2992IMG_3095IMG_3247

And loads of stalls, with goods for sale! Cute angels…

IMG_3132And bear pate! Yes, bear pate. And no, I didn’t buy it.

IMG_3146The Swedish women were dressed in traditional swedish dress.

IMG_3160 IMG_3165 IMG_3167

And Christmas decorations….cute and cheerful. Nice, warm sweaters, mulled wine aka  Glogg.

IMG_3110 IMG_3113 IMG_3115IMG_3136 IMG_3135IMG_3123IMG_3126 IMG_3116 IMG_3117 IMG_3139

This nice guy  told me more about Santa Lucia.

IMG_3048And this lady, posed for me in her pretty hat.

IMG_3174I did enjoy some non-alcoholic glogg. With almonds and raisins in it, which I had to eat with a spoon…

IMG_3155 IMG_3180IMG_3218 IMG_3220 IMG_3224 IMG_3225

By the time the procession made it to the room, I was sated….and I hadn’t had anything to eat yet. Honest. Too busy taking photos.

IMG_3191 IMG_3215 IMG_3214 IMG_3246 IMG_3026

Fantastic morning and now I need to dash…or I’ll miss my flight.

IMG_3196 IMG_3184

See you soon!  Back sunday!

comments
 
Leave a reply »

 
  • Shannon Ardo
    April 28, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    I am trying to locate a place where I can purchase traditional swedish woman dresses. Please help!

    Reply

  • severine
    December 14, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    Beautiful pictures ! Yummy food ! Lovely children ! …

    Reply

  • December 13, 2009 at 10:11 PM

    Thanks. It was a fun event and the food was tasty and in abundant supply

    Kari, wow; 1/2 swedish. I’m glad you remember it fondly

    Shayma, I will say hello for you when I see her!

    Thanks Celia, Christine.

    Reply

  • December 13, 2009 at 9:26 AM

    This is such an informative post. This is a neat holiday, it’s great to see how they celebrate this holiday and all of the wonderful food!

    Reply

  • December 13, 2009 at 2:04 AM

    Aaah…best way to get into the spirit of the festive season is…to visit the Kitchen Butterfly! :)

    Reply

  • December 13, 2009 at 12:50 AM

    say hello to the mermaid lady for me! have a wonderful time. all the photos are so pretty, the one with the girl with the candles on her head is so cool!

    Reply

  • December 12, 2009 at 8:07 PM

    This is great!I am half swedish and dressed as St. Lucia in elementary school around Christmastime :) I loved it and this post brings back memories! Everything looks so yummy. Wish I could go!

    Reply

  • December 12, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    Live from Copenhagen:

    Sarah :-) Thats what food blogging friends are FOR!

    Mimi – my friend and I thought it would be gamy but….courage failed us to try! Maybe for our next indoor camping trip :-)

    Rebecca, as long as you bring Jasmine, you’re more than welcome, ok?

    The ungourmet, I’m in Copenhagen, as I write…and it is nice. Loads of water, trees, I can’t really describe what the landscape resembles…it is also past 3pm and it is getting DARK!

    peachkins – thanks

    Kate – this celebration was in the Netherlands, my kids go to the American School, which has a large Scandinavian community. It was really nice to see the kids and hear the songs!

    Reply

  • December 12, 2009 at 9:55 AM

    Copenhaven! Wonderful! Photos. We want photos.

    Was this St. Lucia celebration in the Netherlands? I’m interested in the fact that the cards with names and ingredients are all in English…

    Bon Voyage!!

    Reply

  • December 12, 2009 at 1:11 AM

    everything looks gorgeous! Wish I could attend an event like this someday…

    Reply

  • December 11, 2009 at 7:30 PM

    I love all of your wonderful photos. What a great celebrations with all of the yummy treats! I love the sweaters you showed, they look so warm and cozy! I would love to visit this part of the world. I am part Norwegian and my husband is part Finnish.

    Reply

  • December 11, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    oh wow great times, I am so going to come and visit you one of these days loving your festive posts

    love Rebecca

    Reply

  • December 11, 2009 at 5:07 PM

    I have to agree when I see your posts I just have to have a look. I have eaten bear before, the meat was quite tough and gamy. Not to sure how the pate would taste, but I would give it a try.
    Mimi

    Reply

  • December 11, 2009 at 3:24 PM

    You are a bad influence! I am supposed to be doing my caterpillar cake but I spot you in my google reader and cannot resist looking! These children (and cakes) look gorgeous. I would try Bear Pate given half a chance too. xxx

    Reply

Leave a Response