The Santa Lucia Jul Festival 2018, hosted by The Scandinavian Club of Hawaii.

During the cocktail hour, Glogg is made available to the guests. Glogg is spiced, sweetened and heated wine served with raisins and nuts. Introductions are made of the club officers.
Often times the MC will relate jokes about Danes, Swedes and Norwegians. The dinner will vary although it normally includes a salad, roast pork, potatoes, and vegetables. It always ends with a rice pudding. The rice pudding sometimes contains an almond. Tradition holds that the person who receives the rice pudding with the almond will get married next year.
The MC leads the guests in the singing of Christmas Carols. The 12 days of Christmas is often sung with different tables taking different stanzas of the song.
The Santa Lucia Pageant is held where the lights are dimmed.
The narrator heads up to the podium and tells the story of Santa Lucia, a Christian Roman girl who was seized and tortured for ministering to the poor.
A file of girls and boys enters the room. The lead girl who represents Santa Lucia will wear candles in her hair.
The group sings the Santa Lucia song. They take a position at one area of the room and sing one Christmas song after another, then file out of the room.
The club offers a lottery of donated prizes, we play until we run out of donated gifts. Lucky numbers are called out during the event.

THE STORY OF SANTA LUCIA

 Most of you know the story of "Santa Lucia", but those of you who haven't heard it before... and travelers who are visiting in Sweden on Decemer 13th... must think it very strange that, in a land far from her own, a young Roman girl is honored in the hearts and thoughts of a people she could never have known.  In her spirit, and because of her steadfast courage, each year the Swedish people remember her on that day.  In the year 304 A.D., Lucia was a wealthy young maiden who was promised in Marriage to a high Roman official. She had heard the teachings of Christianity and she had embraced them with all of her heart and soul, so much so that she gave away her riches that would have been her wedding dowery. This so angered her intended husband that He had her arrested because supporting the Christian religion was illegal at that time.  The judgement against her was that she was given a choice...  ·         she must give up her faith...  ·         she must renouce Christ...  or she would be tortured to death! ... Well, she refused the choice that would have saved her life.  On what we now call December 13th, she was bound to a column and they sharpened the wooden stakes with which they stabbed the sight from her eyes! The blood streamed down her cheeks and splahed her white robe with crimson streaks. Then, a fire was lighted at her feet.  Through her pain and her fear, she pryes and cried out to the Lord.  And then... a wonderous thing happened: a glorious light shimmered and gleamed around her head as Heaven marked her sacrifice and claimed her spirit! Long after her death, when the Vikings had accepted the teachings of Christ, they learned of Santa Lucia... and because they honored true courage, they adopted her for their own... and on each December 13th, they remembered her.  Today, only their Swedish descendents still set aside this day in traditional ceremonies.  Early in the dark of morning... dressed in a flowing white gown, the eldest daughter awakens the family to serve them in their beds hot, rich coffee and "Loos-A-Caw-Kuh", fragrant with saffron.  On her head she wears a crown of lingonberry leaves, glowing with the lighted candles that symbolize the halo of glory that touched Santa Lucia. Girding her white gown at the waist is a red sash that reminds us of the wounds she suffered for her faith.  And as the glow from her crown brings light to each of the rooms that she visits, she sings an old Italian melody... "Santa Lucia".And so I say to all of you here... open your hearts to faith, to trust and to the spirit of good will that lies within the heart of every single one! (***Story courtesy of Victor Rittenbrand, December 15, 1996)© 1996-2013 The Scandinavian Club of Hawaii.

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