A mum and a wife and sometimes just me

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Celebrating traditions

On December 13th Italians celebrate the feast of Santa Lucia. I have heard of it before as my hubby usually still recieves sweets, part of the festivities for the children, from his parents, packaged in a box from Italy. This year was actually our first year to be in Italy for the feast day. Santa Lucia usually arrives on a donkey where she brings gifts to children who have been good and coal to those that have been bad. We were all obviously good this year and got lots of sweets...

Even the bean was not forgotten and he isn't even born yet...but then again mummy gets to eat it. He also got a cute little present as well. Of course hubby was particularly enamoured with it.

 It gets me thinking though being part of a family which celebrates different traditions and even the same traditions in different ways. I guess depending on which grandparent he is visiting at the time will depend on what he gets to experience. The exciting thought though is that we get to create little special tradtions all of our own.


As legend states in the city of Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, a child by the name of Lucia was born in the year 283 to a wealthy Sicilian family. As she grew older she choose to live her life like that of St. Agatha, who was a revered saint in a nearby town. With that she vowed to remain a virgin and give her possessions to the poor and needy.
Lucia, which means light, lived during the time where Christians were persecuted for their belief in God. This didn't prevent her from bringing food to the many Christians who hid in underground tunnels. To find her way she would wear a wreath with candles while carrying a tray of food. As custom would have it a suitor was chosen for her to wed, but marriage was not in her plans especially to a pagan. It was this same pagan who told authorities that Lucia was a Christian. Once they heard this they ruled that Lucia should be sent to a brothel, but this is where her will and belief in God took over. When it came time to take her she became impossible to move. Once this happened they opted to burn her at the stake, but the blazing fire did not harm her. Finally, she was struck down by the sword to the throat on December 13, 304.
Long after her death there was a great famine that spread throughout the land. In 1582 the prayers of the people of Syracuse were answered when a boat appeared in the harbor, on December 13, filled with grains. Instead of making flour from the grain they decided to boil it and eat it.
Like most saints, there is always more than one legend surrounding their life. Another legend states that she was blinded as a result of her faith, but God restored her sight. She was later persecuted for her belief in Christianity. No matter which legend you believe in, Lucia was a brave, caring and special woman whose popularity spread throughout the land. She is portrayed in many paintings holding a plate that has a pair of eyes on it. This is why she is the patron saint of the blind.

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