Happy Saturday everyone! I am pleased to be included in the, "It's a Small World" Blog Hop hosted by our wonderful Jess over at KinderstampO. If you have just joined us you can start all the way back at her blog, or you may have arrived here from Christine's Blog. My little stop in holiday traditions is from the wonderful country of Sweden. I have a special place in my heart for this country and am thankful to have visited there a couple times in the past. One of their very special December traditions is the celebration of St. Lucia Day. Here is a little history about this holiday:
Around Christmas time in Sweden, one of the biggest celebrations is St. Lucia's Day (or St. Lucy's Day) on December 13th. The celebration comes from stories that were told by Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden.
St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304AD. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things. Lucy means 'light' so this is a very appropriate name.
December 13th was also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, in the old 'Julian' Calendar and a pagan festival of lights in Sweden was turned into St. Lucia's Day.
St. Lucia's Day is now celebrated by a girl dressing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head. (Normally electric candles are used for safety!) The crown is made of Lingonberry branches which are evergreen and symbolise new life in winter. Schools normally have their own St. Lucias and some town and villages also choose a girl to play St. Lucia in a procession where carols are sung.I thought long and hard about how I would convey something and have it translate into something we could appreciate if we weren't from Sweden. After following the Tim Holtz blog the last week and his 12 Days of Christmas Tags I decided I would make a special tag. I definately improvised, because I don't begin to have a fraction of the supplies he uses or have the techniques figured out that he uses, but I somehow thought the vintage feel of tag would go along perfectly with what I had in mind.
A national Lucia is also chosen. Lucias also visit hospitals and old people's homes singing a song about St Lucia and handing out 'Pepparkakor', ginger snap biscuits.
Shelley Bean Stamps "Wish Upon a Star". I added some very light color using my Copic Markers and I framed the stamped image with Shabby Shutters Distress Stickles. I went and snipped a piece off the garland over my fireplace for the crown and used 3 birthday candles (cut down) with a touch of gold stickles for the flame. It's all about improvisation!! I used some beads and charms to attach to the ribbon and blinged out the bottom edge a little bit and added a holiday verse to finish off my tag.
And now, before I send you off to the next stop along this wonderful hop, I wanted to share a free give-away! I am going to randomly choose a winner from the comments left here now through Sunday. The prize is my Wish Upon A Star stamp that I used to make this tag. Simply leave a comment. I would also love it if you became a follower of my blog and my stamp blog. But, I won't make it a requirement this time. I also have a friend page over at facebook that I would love to have you come visit and "like". I often do give-aways there as well. "God Jul" everyone!
And now it's time to hop along to Vickie's Blog! If you lose your way along the hop, here is a listing of all the wonderful blogs participating today.