The procession is primarily made up of children dressed in silver and gold robes carrying lit candles and images of Mary and Joseph riding a donkey. Adults, including musicians, follow the procession, which visits selected homes and asks for lodging for Joseph and Mary. Traditionally, the procession is always refused lodging, though the hosts often provide refreshments. At each stop, passages of scripture are read, and Christmas carols are sung.
Mass is held each day after the procession, and, at the conclusion of the service, children break open piñatas filled with candy, toys, and, occasionally, money. The piñatas are usually crafted in the form of a star, which is said to have guided the three wise men of biblical tradition to the newborn Jesus.
Celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and Swedish-speaking parts of Finland, St. Lucia’s Day takes place on Dec. 13, in honor of St. Lucia, an early Christian martyr who was killed by the Romans in 304 A.D. The festival includes the selection of a girl to represent St. Lucia, who then walks at the head of a procession through the town, singing traditional songs. The holiday is also celebrated in parts of Italy, where St. Lucia is considered the patron saint of Syracuse in Sicily.
Celebrating the Christian saint who sold everything he owned to give money to the poor, St. Nicholas Day, also known as the Feast of St. Nicholas, is observed on Dec. 6 and is celebrated throughout much of northern Europe. Traditions include leaving small gifts and treats in shoes. While still considered a different entity than our modern-day Santa Claus, many of the traditions of Santa originated with the legends of St. Nicholas.
We are always thankful for the blessings bestowed upon us.
There is always something to be thankful for, remember it.
Have a joyous day remembering.