All the Interesting Facts Worth Knowing
candle is one of the earliest inventions of the ancient
world. Ancient Egyptian tombs at Thebes bear relief carvings
of cone-shaped candles on dish-like holders. The oldest
known candle fragment was found at Vaison, near Avignon, in
France and dates from the 1st century C.E.
pagan goddess Freya, had a brother named Frey to whom
sacrifices were offered at Yule. She was associated with
love, fertility, war, and wealth. She wore a bright necklace
and drove a chariot pulled by cats.
to legend, hunger during a famine had weakened so many
people in Syracuse that they went as a group to church to
ask the saint for deliverance. While they were praying, a
ship loaded with grain sailed into the harbor. So to
celebrate Santa Lucia Day, Italians eat instead of bread a
boiled wheat dish called cuccia or cuccidata.
the 16th-century Gregorian calendar reform, St. Lucy's Day
fell on the winter solstice. Legends claimed that the saint
blinded herself on this, the shortest day of the year.
- An old
Scandinavian custom forbade all turning motions on St.
Lucy's Day, including spinning, stirring, and working a
grindstone. Superstitions warned that these circular motions
might interfere with the sun's change of course.
belief hinted that miracles occurred at midnight on St.
Lucy's Eve. Those awake at this potent hour might hear
cattle speaking or see running water turn into wine.
custom involved writing Lucy's name and drawing a picture of
a girl alongside it on doors and fences in the hopes that
the saint would hasten the end of winter.
St. Lucy-related folklore advised completion of certain
tasks by her day: the threshing of all grain from the year's
harvest, the completion of the season's spinning and
weaving, and the completion of all Christmas cleaning and
decorating. Other traditions suggested that farmers
slaughter the Christmas pig on St. Lucy's Day and that cooks
bury the lutfisken, a traditional Christmas fish, in
beech ashes on St. Lucy's Day to be ready by Christmas.
is often accompanied by star boys, an ancient tradition
which dates back to the time when boys used to go
door-to-door playing tricks, singing and begging for money
to celebrate the winter solstice.
Donne (1572-1631) wrote "A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy's
year the honor of crowning Stockholm's Lucy bride goes to
the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.