lunes, 12 de diciembre de 2011

Celebración de Santa Lucía: un símbolo del regreso de la Luz


 Un símbolo de Esperanza, del regreso de la Luz 
Hoy, 13 de diciembre, Suecia y otros lugares de cultura escandinava, celebran la festividad de Santa Lucía. Lo hacen con bellas tradiciones que sirven como preludio a la Navidad. La noche más larga, según el calendario juliano, caía cerca del 13 de diciembre. Durante la edad media las tradiciones paganas convivían con las recién importadas tradiciones cristianas. En Suecia se extiende el cristianismo hacia el año 1000 DC, bastante más tarde que en España. Duendes del bosque, historias de dioses del Olimpo, se entremezclan con Santos y leyendas cristianas, sobre todo en la Suecia rural, que prácticamente era todo el país.
En Suecia, miles de niñas y jóvenes celebran la fiesta de Santa Lucía ataviadas con túnicas blancas, sosteniendo un candelabro y luciendo en sus cabezas una corona de velas. Se las conoce como “Lucía” y van encabezando una procesión, acompañadas de “chicos estrella”: también ataviados con largas túnicas blancas y capirotes adornados con estrellas doradas. Cerrando la procesión van unos niños disfrazados de duendecillos.
Es bonito en esta festividad escuchar a los niños cantar villancicos tradicionales en completa oscuridad, y ver después acercarse paulatinamente la luz de sus velas. Lucía y sus doncellas reparten bollos de azafrán y galletas de jengibre.
Esta tradición de 400 años de antigüedad suele tener como escenario iglesias, escuelas, hospitales y lugares de trabajo de todo el país, y tal es su importancia que, en Suecia, incluso se hace partícipe cada año a los galardonados con el premio Nobel. Los propios galardonados, sabios ganadores, reciben a la mañana siguiente de las festividades, en su habitación del hotel, una procesión de adolescentes vestidas de virginal blanco, coronadas de velas encendidas y cantando la tradicional “santa Lucía”, que se escucha por doquier en todo el país el 13 de diciembre.
              The tradition of celebrating Saint Lucia of Italy in Sweden is honoured annually on 13th December. The total darkness of the Lucia early morning is broken by the glow of the Lucia figure dressed in a flowing gown of white and afire with a wreath of candles upon her head. Sankta Lucia, as she is known in Swedish, is a creature of goodness and light. She is a shining angel illuminating the way to the Christmas season.
The Lucia celebration originates from the Middle Ages when December 13th was the longest night of the year according to the Julian calendar. The Swedish Lucia has little in common with her namesake, also known in English as Saint Lucy, the Sicilian 4th century martyr. There is no certainty of the route the tradition took while establishing itself in Sweden.
However, it is popularly associated with a legend of a white-clad maiden, wearing a crown of burning candles. She appeared on the shores of Sweden’s largest lake, Vänern, bringing food to starving villagers during a time of famine. Ever since, she has been associated with light.
Today, the tradition is played out most often in the schools, churches and places of work before the dawn. A lucky girl dressed in a long white gown with a red sash and a crown of candles leads a procession. In tow are similarly dressed girls (tärnor) and boys wearing a tall pointed hat carrying a star wand (stjärngossar).
The rest of the procession is made up of girls and boys in similar dress sing beautifully haunting carols. Once the singing is over, the procession and its observers enjoy coffee and saffron-flavored buns called lussekatter.
Not too long ago the Lucia procession also took place at home. The eldest daughter had the honour to be Lucia. She and her siblings roused the family with their singing. Then the family gathered together with saffron buns at breakfast.
As the work traditions evolved in Sweden and both parents would go off to work dropping off children at centres and schools, there was a natural shift to leave the procession to the various institutions where people gather at the start of their day. Some modern families keep up the practice, but most often only for special guests or grandparents.
Nobel laureates are honored with a Lucia procession. The morning of the Nobel Award Ceremony and banquet the laureates are woken by a glowing figure of beauty, goodness and light sweetly singing.
SANKTA LUCIA SONG
It is traditional in Sweden to sing the Sankta Lucia song with the same melody as the well-known Italian song. The translation is somewhat loose.
Natten går tunga fjät
rund gård och stuva;
kring jord, som sol förlät,
skuggorna ruva.
Då i vårt mörka hus,
stiger med tända ljus,
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

Natten går stor och stum
nu hörs dess vingar
i alla tysta rum
sus som av vingar.
Se, på vår tröskel står
vitklädd med ljus i hår
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

Mörkret ska flyta snart
ur jordens dalar
så hon ett underbart
ord till oss talar.
Dagen ska åter ny
stiga ur rosig sky
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.

The night goes with heavy steps
around farm and cottage;
round the earth the sun has forsaken,
the shadows are brooding.
There in our darkened house,
stands with lighted candles
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.
The night passes, large and mute
now one hears wings
in every silent room
whispers as if from wings.
See, on our threshold stands
white-clad with candles in her hair
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.
The darkness shall soon depart
from the earth's valleys
then she speaks
a wonderful word to us.
The day shall be born anew
Rising from the rosy sky.
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

1 comentario:

  1. In Maracaibo Venezuela we have a celebration related to Saint Lucia too in the same day. Wow!!

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