New Sweden marks the tradition of Saint Lucia

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A tradition of ancient Sweden, dating back to the fourth century, was celebrated on December 13 at the New Sweden Historical Society on Saint Lucia Day.

NEW SWEDEN, Maine – A tradition of ancient Sweden, dating back to the fourth century, was celebrated on December 13 at the New Sweden Historical Society on Saint Lucia Day.

The first settlers brought this feast day with them from Sweden when they arrived in the 1870s and it has been observed in the community ever since.

This year, 11-year-old Avenea Germain, daughter of New Sweden’s Nate and Cassie Germain, performed Saint Lucia.

As concerns about COVID-19 persist in the community, those who showed up to the event were asked to observe from their cars and open their windows both to hear Lucia’s story and to enjoy the music that accompanied his procession.

“I think Avenea has enjoyed being a part of the years of tradition, as well as learning more about Santa Lucia, his work and his sacrifices,” said Cassie Germain.

According to legend, Lucia brought food and aid to Christians hidden in the Roman catacombs, wearing a wreath of candles on her head to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible.

Ray Hildebrand told the attendees the story of Lucia and how she got to the Swedes, and her place in lore and lore as she brightened up the dark days.

Stephen Boody, resident violinist, performed “Santa Lucia”, while Kristene Bondeson of Woodland sang the lyrics to this sweet melody on a warm winter evening.

Biscuits made by Norma Akerson were delivered through the car windows during the celebration, as spectators enjoyed the procession and the beautiful decorations put on by Debbie Johnson Blanchette, Karen Forsman Wakem, Millie Forsman Forbes and Carolyn Haglund Hildebrand .

“Avenea considered it an honor to represent the love and light that Saint Lucia brought to the catacombs,” said Cassie Germain. “And she felt his inspiration to keep our light on, regardless of the darkness.”

When the shortest days of the year are replaced by the longest, in Midsommar in June, the Swedish community is looking forward to celebrating this festival again in 2022 after having canceled it for the past two years due to COVID .

“We are delighted to combine Midsommar next year with our delayed 150th anniversary of New Sweden,” said Brenda Jepson, Midsommar Festival co-chair. These two events will take place on the weekend of June 17-19.

For more information contact Brenda Jepson at [email protected].

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