Lucia and lights


How lovely, on Lucia’s Day to have our first real snowfall, light flakes slowly dancing down, the frozen ground now white and an icing-sugar-like dusting on evergreen branches. It set the right mood for finishing up the holiday letters and cards.

We were lucky to have two weeks of sunshine before these clouds came along, but the days are short, the nights long, thus our craving for light becomes a part of the season’s celebrations here in the northern lands.

St. Lucia is celebrated by the Scandinavians, even the Finns now. Expatriates might have such celebrations in the Scandinavian community centers outside their home countries. But we had a small taste of another celebration yesterday when we met friends from out of town for lunch at the beautiful VanDusen Gardens. It’s the setting for the annual Festival of Lights. It was a treat to see them come on in the darkening afternoon just before leaving but we had no time to go in for a walk for it’s a huge park. We have enjoyed those amazing light presentations there one night some years ago with these same friends and it really is a magical place. The garden volunteers spend two months putting up the lights.

On the drive home we spotted Christmas trees for sale next to a Catholic church doing a fundraiser for their school, and so it was we picked up a tree, saving a trip out today! It’s sitting inside the garage in a bucket of water, awaiting the night we bring it in and put on lights and ornaments. We usually do it on Carol Ship Night when the boats go by all lit up with lights, with the biggest one ringing out Christmas carols.

Now that the letters are done, thoughts turn to start cleaning and decorating our home. On Wednesday, our family in the UK are arriving, so there will be the merry sound of excited and happy grandchildren in the house again! Soon there will another midwinter celebration of light.

December 13, 2009 in Canada and BC, Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Folk Legends & Myths by Marja-Leena