Local Scandinavian Children's Club To Present Santa Lucia Pageant
Pageant is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Madison Community House. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the show begins at 3 p.m.
The Dalarna-Blaklockan Scandinavian Children’s Club will be celebrating the holiday season at their annual Santa Lucia Christmas Pageant on Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Madison Community House, 25 Cook Ave., at 3 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.
Santa Lucia Day is a very special day in the hearts of many Scandinavians. On this day, the darkness is brightened by a young maiden of goodness and light who opens the door to the Christmas season.
In honor of the Santa Lucia legend, each year, the Dalarna-Blaklockan club celebrates the day by presenting a Christmas pageant and inviting the public and members of the Lodge Linne #429 of the Vasa Order of America to attend. According to the legend, Lucia was a medieval saint who carried food and drink to hungry folk in the province of Varmland in Sweden during a period of famine. She was seen on a ship crossing Lake Vanern in a white gown wearing a crown of lights, and appeared on the shortest and darkest day of the year, Dec. 13.
The Lucia celebration is a custom still carried out in Sweden and Norway. In the early morning of Dec. 13, a girl in a white dress with a red sash, wearing a crown made of ligonberry twigs and candles, carries a tray of saffron buns and steaming coffee to wake up her parents.
Erika Pedersen, daughter of Julie and Larry Pedersen of Madison, will be Lucia at this year’s pageant. She has been dancing with the Dalarna-Blaklockan Children’s Club for the past nine years and is currently a 6th grade student at Madison Junior School. In addition to participating in the club, Erika plays violin in her school’s orchestra, sings in her church and school choirs, plays lacrosse, and takes dance lessons at Anne Fattal’s Footnotes in Chatham.
During the pageant, Lucia will lead a procession of maidens along with other children dressed as Star Boys, Baker Lads and Tomtar (elf-like creatures of Scandinavian folklore). They will sing traditional Lucia and Christmas songs that celebrate this special time of year. Following the pageant, refreshments will be served and some of the children will also perform Scandinavian folk dances.
“Presently, the boys and girls in our club have ties to a variety of Scandinavian countries – Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. The purpose of the club is to bring the children together and learn about their heritage in a fun and inviting way. We keep some of the traditions alive by performing a Lucia pageant each December and learning traditional country folk dances,” stated Erica Johansson-Neil, coordinator of the Dalarna-Blaklockan Children’s Club.
For more information on the club, please call (862) 812-0095 or email email@example.com.
VASA Order of American is a fraternal society that was originally established for the benefit of Swedish immigrants a century ago, and is now dedicated to preserving and sharing all Nordic cultures and heritages. Membership is open to men and women over 14 years of age of Nordic roots (Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic and Norwegian) who would like to rediscover the traditions of their forefathers, as well as those who are not of Nordic heritage, but are interested in the promotion and advancement of Nordic heritages and cultures. For more information on Lodge Linne, visit www.vasaorder.net/?lodge=429 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Lodge Linne meets monthly on the third Friday, except in the summer, for general membership meetings and a cultural program at the New Providence Senior Center, 15 East 4th St.