The triumph of light

Last week was the festival of St. Lucia.

Throughout Sweden, choirs of girls and boys dressed in white and bearing candles sing lovely songs about hope and comfort. And for a few moments, we stop and listen to the message they bring.

They sing about bringing light and hope to the darkness of winter;

About warmth and compassion in the heart of coldness.

Lucia is a time of lighting candles and remembering that we are like those candles –

A small thing, but one that can light the flame of another.

And as we give light to another, our own light increases –

Spreading the beauty, no matter how insignificant we are.

It’s about remembering that after the dark, the sun returns –

Just like we do.

(Oh – and it’s also about drinking spiced mulled wine and enjoying saffron buns!)

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88 thoughts on “The triumph of light

  1. big smiles…lovely pictures…and true words…there is alwasy the sun after the dark…and the dark at times helps us appreciate the light all the more…hope you week leading up to the holiday is beautiful…

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  2. Such a wonderful, beautiful holiday post from your world, Fiona! And, yes, the dark times can help us appreciate the light all the more! A great reminder! Wishing you a beautiful pre-holiday week for you and your family!

    Sylvia

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  3. Hey, just wanted to let you know that you are a Preliminary Nominee for The Dark Globe Outstanding Artist Awards Photographer of the Year Award, as Nominated by Phil… In the end, there will only be 5 Final Nominees in each of the 3 Categories, which will be determined on December 20th… If you make the Final 5 Best Photographer of the Year cut, Voting for the actual Awards will begin December 21st through December 31st… And the Award Winners will be Announced on January 1st… To see your actual Nomination,and for the Official Rules, you can go here http://thedarkglobe.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/the-dark-globe-outstanding-artist-awards/#comment-281
    Gratz, and if you make the Final Cut, Good Luck! Either way, Kudos for being Nominated

    DarkJade
    Editor/Creator/and one of the many Writers of The Dark Globe

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  4. I just read about this festival yesterday. The idea of spreading the light is appealing.
    Hey, is that Oscar out there in the water?

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  5. Outstanding photos as usual. I worked with a man of Swedish descent and every year he and his wife would bake those St. Lucia saffron buns and bring them in to work. Delicious! Happy Holidays Ladyfi.

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  6. beautiful post!! loved it!

    Bozo is eating well but lethargic and even the slightest walkaround gets him panting…. Thank you for your concern and good wishes.

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  7. What a lovely gift you have given us as we head into the Christmas weekend. Thank you (as always) for the wonderful gift that comes from your eye and your heart.

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  8. What a lovely celebration of light. Your photos are beautiful as usual. I love the lantern and the cute heart. The last shot is very pretty too. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

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  9. You have got lovely traditions in your country. I wish you a very merry Christmas, may the light soon return in this bleak world and may we be protected against disasters and diseases.

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  10. A beautiful Holiday and a beautiful post about it as always. Even tho I’m trying hard to catch up with my blog reading, I just had to go back to your original (I think) post about the day to see the candle procession again, I love this custom.

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  11. Great post, I love what you did with the first photo. You caught the essence of the choirs. I like hearing about the Swedish traditions. Makes me think that over here we need to do more singing and less shopping.

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  12. · Your photos are fantastic, as usual.
    I see you you know about St. Lucía but I prefer 22nd, at 5:30. Invictus Sun.
    Be happy and enjoy.

    · hugs

    … Happy Winter’s Solstice
    … the Sun wins the battle

    CR & LMA
    ________________________________
    ·

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  13. Mmm, I could trade my share of the wine for my husband’s share of the saffron buns!
    The candles in midwinter are wonderful, and your photographs are like sunshine.
    Wishing you and yours the very best of the holiday season and the coming year.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  14. i love the idea of a time for lighting candles as well as the spiced wine and yummy buns. thank you for sharing your photos and traditions.
    lovely holidays to you!

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  15. When I lived in Finland as a child, I was once asked to Santa Lucia solo at a Christmas concert given by our school to war veterans. It’s a beautiful song, a beautiful festival. And you’ve given us a beautiful post. All the very best of the season to you, Fi…. including spiced mulled wine and saffron buns!

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  16. This is another fascinating post, ladyfi! Festival of St. Lucia is a lovely tradition. Now that winter solstice has passed, we are having more and more daylight, which makes us feel assured that spring is not far away. Let’s see quietly glinting things in the cold and the dark.

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  17. Here is Norwegian soprano Sissel singing Vitae Lux for the Feast of Sancta Lucia, whom the Scandinavians have adopted because of the allegory of light: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8CXVcUQKHo&list=FLQ3g8ucVopUnY0d34BZnzDg&index=53&feature=plpp_video

    Many Lutheran parishes, especially those with Scandinavian parishioners do the Quempas celebration for Sancta Lucia:

    Typically, the choir is divided into fours and rotates around the nave with each verse.

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  18. I love traditions… and this one always called my attention! And now that you have shared such great photos about it- Hey, I am going to have to visit you one day around this time of the year. But promise to share the apple cider and saffron buns with me!!

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