Yes, folks, it's that time of the year again. Lucia Day will shortly be upon us and all over Scandinavia, little boys & girls (and not so little men & women) are busy trying on their white robes and cone-shaped hats and making sure all the candles in the Lucia crown are there. Soon, the baking of lussekatter and pepparkakor will begin culminating with the Making of the Glögg on the very day itself.
Imagine this -- You're in a small town in Sweden. It is early in the morning and darkness prevails. The streets are quiet and deserted, the houses covered in a thick layer of sparkling white snow. The wind is still, but the cold is numbing your frozen feet and fingers. There is no sign of life anywhere. Then suddenly... In the distance, the faint sounds of singing voices. As they grow louder, a shimmering of light dodges between the houses. Then they arrive: A line of boys in white robes and star-speckled cone hats and girls with candles in their hands and glitter in their hair. Leading them is Lucia herself, a tall woman with a crown of lit candles in her long, blonde hair. Her voice warms your heart as the glögg she brings restores life to your body. Ahhh! Then you remember with a panic that you forgot to turn off the stove at home...
Lucia is a celebration of light in the middle of our deepest wintery darkness. It is a tradition that has been practiced for over 400 years and is meant to bring hope for warmer times when the Sun will return and life will spring forth once again. Although it may make more sense in certain northern countries where daylight at this time of the year only lasts for a few hours around noon, it shouldn't stop us from using this fine excuse for getting sloshed in the middle of the week down here. Besides, it's bona fide culture! Therefore...
Together with Anders (né Andrew), our gracious host for the evening, please feel hjärtligt welcome to a Genuinly Swedish Lucia Party (95)* on:
From 101, take the Shoreline Exit west (towards El Camino), pass Central Expressway and the train tracks and turn left on California. The house is on the left side of the road at the intersection with Franklin.
From 280 south, take 85 to El Camino (north). Turn right on Shoreline and right again on California. The house is on the left side of the road at the intersection with Franklin.
From 280 north, take... eh, you work it out. Call 415-691-9062 if you get lost.
Hopefully, we'll have all the traditional supplements available, including lussekatter (sweet bread made with saffron), pepparkakor (thin gingerbread cookies), and, of course, glögg! Glögg is the Scandinavian version of hot mulled wine. Our kind is somewhat sweeter and spicier than its German cousin, and much more potent. If you haven't had it before, consumption in moderation is advisable, at least as long as you remember it -- and your name.
Bring friends, bring family, but most importantly, bring a non-drinking driving buddy. Oh, and if you see any Swedish au-pair girls, bring them too by all means. Anders will be forever thankful. ;-)
*) Actual Lucia not included. Contents of glögg may vary. Void where
When does the moose arrive?
Got any more of this stuff?
Could you guys please quiet down!