St. Lucia Day In Kansas


Today is St. Lucia Day, the 13th of December.  If I were Swedish (or could afford saffron right now!), I might be celebrating with Lucia buns.  Perhaps Big Sis would wear a wreath of candles.  But I'm the great-granddaughter of German immigrants on my dad's side, and a Heinz 57 mix on my mom's side - wait, there might be some Swedish somewhere after all! - and I did not grow up knowing the story of St. Lucia.  But here I am, participating in my very first blog hop:


The beautiful art is by Heather of Audrey Eclectic.  I have been following her on Pinterest for over a year because of art like this and her love affair with all things Swedish and Scandinavian.  She even has a new blog just for this obsession!  See her Etsy shop for more gorgeousness.

Why am I a part of this then?  Was it the Kirsten doll I wished for as a child, when I was supposedly too old for dolls?  I think that started it.  To be honest, though, I think Rick Steves is to blame.  You see, every year, my hubby and I made a point of watching Rick Steves' European Christmas on PBS.  Then my dad made our little obsession worse by getting us the complete Rick Steves' Europe DVD boxed set for Christmas.  And yes, we watch it.  A LOT.  Yes, we are that nerdy.

And our favorite episodes take place in Denmark and Sweden and Norway.  We daydream about when we'll go someday.  And while the Christmas show doesn't venture to Sweden, there is this gorgeous segment in Norway.  It's our favorite part of our favorite Rick Steves episode.



The girls and I celebrated St. Lucia Day early.  We visited the beautiful little town of Lindsborg, KS, "Little Sweden USA," about an hour and 10 minutes from the city where we live, not too far from the tiny farm town in which my grandma grew up.  This was only my third time visiting Lindsborg, though.  The first time was about 6 years ago, when Big Sis was a toddling thing.  The second was only in June of this year, when our whole clan visited for Midsummer.  Now finally, I made it to the Lucia Festival.  There are blessings to losing one's retail job.   This year, there was nowhere else I had to be on a Saturday in December! (I wrote last week about some of the reading my daughters and I did to get ourselves in the mood for the trip.    I won't waste any space re-posting them now, but feel free to visit that post for our list.) When we arrived in Lindsborg, the morning air was chilly (FINALLY) and the sun was bright.  The weather folks were forecasting possible flurries that evening, so we brought our layers.  We parked at the south end of Main Street and followed the sound of Christmas carolers.  We then spent some time visiting shops, especially Hemslöjd, looking at the dala horses, tomtes, straw ornaments, and of course, books.

Okay, we did purchase ONE book.
In the early afternoon, the folk dancing was set to begin.  I bought the girls something to drink, then we settled on a spot to watch the dancing.  Now I knew Heather was going to be in Lindsborg, too, but it wasn't until we saw very, very similar photos posted on our Facebook pages that we realized we were sitting right next to each other!  Note:  If you know a bloggy friend you've never seen in person is going to be somewhere you will be, make a point to really find out what they look like.  Better yet, make plans to meet!





The girls needed a bit to eat after watching all that energy (ha ha), so I took them to a charming coffee shop called The Old Grind, where they split a bowl of potato bacon soup, while I sipped a gingerbread chai.  From the windows, we could keep an eye out for the Lucia procession!  But first, someone else caught our eye.

No matter how gorgeous his costume, my girls are notoriously Santa-shy.

We followed the Lucia procession up Main Street to Bethany Luthan Church.  And everything was beautiful.






After the service, we followed everyone to the lawn for cookies and cider.  Well, to be honest, we skipped the cider.  We were going to need to head home.


One last walk down Main Street.  The sun was hidden behind clouds.  Sprinkles would fall, but we have yet to see any snow whatsoever.


Lest we forget we were still in Kansas, this lovely barn bid us goodbye on the way out of town.


Our spending money was very, very light (stupid bills), so our souvenirs were few.  We returned home with our book, a bag of coffee for the poor working hubby, a julbock ornament, a tiny wooden horse, some more straw goodness I can't link to, a Moomin postcard, this tune stuck in our heads, and two wooden horses, free to the children from Hemslojd. Of course, the day wasn't over.  Once we were home, I still got roped into baking a birthday cake for a stuffed frog, but that's another story...



Comments

  1. Awww! I love seeing your photos, hehe, especially since we had the same darn day! lol! NExt time....we will KNOW who to look for!

    I'm so glad you got a good photo of the girl playing the...whatever it is that is held like a guitar and played like a fiddle. I tried to get a photo so I could ask someone later. Do you know what it is?

    Love seeing your pics from "the big kid St. Lucia" procession. By then we were already headed back to Oklahoma

    So glad you girls had a great day! And thanks for being part of the procession!

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    1. Okay, I discovered it's called a nyckelharpa. It's a traditional Scandinavian folk instrument, sometimes called a keyed fiddle. There is a Wikipedia article on it, and some beautiful YouTube clips. I'll put one on your new FB page!

      It was so much fun to compare pictures with you! I guess in such a small town, even at a festival, there would only be so many things to take pictures of. And yes, next time we'll know who to look for!

      Thank you so much for hosting this procession! I love seeing what everyone else is coming up with! xxxooo

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  2. What a lovely peek into a traditional St. Lucia day celebration! I'm visiting from Heather's blog procession today. What a coincidence you ladies were right next to each other! It truly is a small world. Looks like you had a terrific time with your sweet girls. Merry Christmas to you!
    - Susan

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Susan! Yes, we knew we'd both be there, but never made any plans or even checked each other's pictures to know who to look for. And there we were, sharing a curb...

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  3. Great pics! It looks amazing! One of my sets of great-grandparents was Swedish/Finnish and I wish we had a festival like this nearby so we could learn a bit more about that part of our heritage!

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    1. Oh, I wish you did, too! It isn't even my heritage. I just love it, though. It is my dream to travel all over Scandinavia. I haven't even see the northern lights from this continent yet!

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  4. All of these posts are making me sad that I didn't make it to Lindsborg this year. :-( Nice to meet you through Heather's blog hop!

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    1. Awww, it was a lot of fun! I'd always wanted to go. My poor hubby wanted to so badly, but got called into work. We will definitely have to go again next year. Nice to "meet" you, too! :o)

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    2. Lauren and Danzel--- I believe you ladies are in the same city! :D so you two might be the next to stumble upon each other!

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    3. After looking at Lauren's Pinterest, I'm pretty sure of it. ;o)

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  5. Thanks for the photo tour of the town - loved it, and hope I can go someday. My daughter had the book "Lucia, Child of Light" when she was little. So sweet to see the cover art again in your daughter's hands! And I know exactly what you mean about Rick Steves - all his episodes, especially the Christmas specials, make me want to go so many places. God Jul!

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    1. It's a great little book! We're going to enjoy it. Rick Steves is awesome. He reminds me of a more extroverted version of my dad. :o) Thanks for your kind words. God Jul!

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    2. I also Looooove me some Rick Steves! He makes every place he goes seem so safe and delightful. When it was a million degrees this summer, I'd queue up his shows and travel to cooler climates, it was the cheapest way to get out of town! lol!

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    3. YES!!! That's just what we do, too. And yes, we've watched the Christmas special in the summer. Sometimes a high of 110 degrees just calls for it!

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  6. That looks like such a magical day! I love the photos of the dancing, especially, and being a lover of folk music and traditional instruments, I'm off to find out more about the nyckelharpa. I used to live in Lawrence, and have lots of friends from Salina, but I've never visited Lindsborg. I hope to knock that off my "to travel to" list in 2013. Nice to meet you and find your blog!

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    1. I've lived in Kansas all my life, and my grandma is from Gypsum, yet I didn't visit Lindsborg until I was 29. It's a lovely town. Try to come in June for the Midsummer Festival. It's wonderful! Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. I love your photos. You spend a great time!God Jul!

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    1. Thank you! God Jul to you, too, and pleased to "meet" you!

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  8. Well, now I have added this to things I want to do someday! We are not anywhere near kansas, but maybe we will one day! :)

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    1. It's such a pretty little town, nestled in the farm land. I'm not always a fan of my home state, but I try hard to dwell on the good!

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  9. Gorgeous pictures Danzel! You captured such beautiful moments in this event. I absolutely love the Santa pic and the star on the farm. Just gorgeous! -Tara

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    1. Thank you so much, Tara! Those are my favorites, too. Miss you!

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  10. What a wonderful experience! I love the pictures from the festival, but I especially loved the picture of your two sweet girls with Santa. Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Aww, thank you so much! It was a beautiful outing. The girls don't always get along, and one of them has shy, grumpy tendencies, but they had a great day. I'm sure if they were acting like they're acting at home RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS it might not have been so fun. ;o)

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  11. What a lovely day you had! Alas here it was quite the opposite weather-wise at 93F and even if there were such a procession here (Adelaide, Australia) it'd unfortunately probably have to be with fake candles. Looks very nice especially the cookies and cider. It's always a good time with cider :)

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    1. It hasn't been in the 90s here, but it's hovered near 80F at times this month! The average is supposed to be in the upper 40s. Winter is supposed to be just around the corner. Happy Summer to you! God Jul!

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  12. What FUN! Oh this just looks like the best time. I can't believe you and Heather missed each other only by inches it seems!

    Rick Steves. YES. Oh how I am laughing. I'm right there in Nerdville with ya. I love that show!

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    1. Yep, we were right next to each other. I can picture her and husband and daughter. I just didn't know who they were. :oP

      Yay for Rick Steves!

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  13. Nice to meet you in the St Lucia blog procession.
    Lovely trip to a fabulous place and the pics are good :) Pleasure to read and look at. You must have had a great time.

    oh, by the way - I LOVE MOOMINS! just reading the moomin books on my kindle!

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    1. Awesome! There's a lot of Moomin love around here. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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