Lucia -94


From: Lennart Lovstrand <lennart>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 94 16:03:18 -0800
Subject: Lucia Party

Sankta Lucia, ljusklara hägring...

[Warning: A long message full of romantic notions about the wonders of living in a dead cold country in the middle of the dark winter follows. If you don't care about this, just go for the bold text and think people + alcohol = party.]

Darkness is heavy over the frosty lands of northern Europe. It is in the wee hours of the morning and the warming rays of the sun has yet to appear on the horizon. Everywhere is stillness, save for a few early risers who meddle in their kitchens on their way to start another day. But wait... what's that? For a moment I thought I could hear something. There it is again: Faint voices linger over the barren landscape. Voices singing of light and hope, of a time when warmth will return and life will flourish once again. Soon shimmering lights can be seen dancing on the walls as a procession of white robed youths come nearer. In the lead is Lucia herself, a tall blond woman with a crown of flaming candles blazing from her long hair. After her follow her suite of girls with candles in their hands and glitter in their hair and boys wearing tall cone hats with star rods in their hands. Sankta Lucia, ljusklara hägring, sprid i vår vinternatt glans av din fägring... Saint Lucia, mirage of lights, spread in our wintery night a shimmering of your beauty.

The tradition of celebrating Lucia has been practiced for some 400 years, although the event on which it is based goes back as far back as in 304 A.D. when a young woman from Syracuse met the her death as a martyr. Lucia is a celebration of light in the darkness of winter. It is meant as a sign of hope for the return of warmer times when life once again will return to the earth. Today, this is celebrated by numerous processions of local boys and girls visiting hospitals, schools, and offices, usually bringing coffee and glögg to warm up their hosts. And, as you might expect, the whole event is preceeded by heavy partying throughout the night. It's as good reason as any to have a good time.

There's also no reason why this should be limited to only Scandinavia. "Their party is our party," as the old Romans said. Therefore, you're all very welcome to celebrate light throughout the night on the Lucia Day of Tuesday December 13, 1994 at 207 High Street, Palo Alto (close to the intersection of Alma and Hawthorn). The traditional -- and quite insidious -- glögg will be provided together with other genuine snacks, such as Lussekatter ("Lucian Cats") and pepparkakor ("Pepper Cakes"). There will also be a chance to sample a forbiddingly black hand crafted elixir tentatively labelled Devil's Brew from the also-soon-to-be-relatively-famous Lennart's Lövesuds brewery. And who knows, maybe we'll even find a virgin to sacrifice in the deep darkness of the night... (Yah, right. :-)

The whole thing is expected to get going around 19:30* and continue for as long as people stay awake and then perhaps some. Feel free to bring a friend or two. And yes, due to the busy season and the dictates of tradition, this is a mid-week event. You don't really have to be early at work on Wednesday, do you? Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew.

--Lennart with Laurie, Dan, Susan, Max, and Maya.

*) That's half past seven post meridiem for you 12-hour types.



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