Saint Lucy’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Lucy, is a Christian feast day observed on 13 December. The observance commemorates Lucia of Syracuse, an early-4th-century virgin martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution,who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candle lit wreath on her head to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible. Her feast day, which coincided with the shortest day of the year prior to calendar reforms, is widely celebrated as a festival of light. Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucy’s Day is viewed as a precursor of Christmastide, pointing to the arrival of the Light of Christ in the calendar on Christmas Day.
Who is Saint Nicholas?
For a long time in Austria and some regions of Germany, particularly in Bavaria, St. Nicholas was the main character in the Christmas celebration. But he was not Santa Claus, and he arrived earlier – on the 6th of December. His usual, less friendly escort went by different names in different places: “Belsnickle,” “Niglo,” “Pelznickel,” and others. Santa Claus or Father Christmas is a more recent tradition. Since the Germans (and the Dutch) brought many of their customs to America directly or indirectly, we need to look first at Europe in order to understand the American and worldwide Christmas celebration of today.
The “Nikolovarvara” The festive “triangle” of December 4, 5 and 6 (the feasts of St. Barbara, St. Savvas and St. Nicholas) was named by citizens of Cephalonia or Kefalonia – “Nikolovara”.
On December 5, the Greek Orthodox Church commemorates Agios Savvas.
Saint Barbara is the patron saint of miners. She is among the 14 Holy Helpers of the Roman Catholic Church, the “Patron of Good Death.”
St. Andrew’s Day is a national holiday in Scotland that is celebrated with feasts on November 30. It is also Scotland’s national day, marking the beginning of Scotland as a nation. Variations of the holiday are also celebrated in Romania, Germany, Austria, Poland, and Russia.
Advent — the four weeks leading up to Christmas — begins this year, in 2020 on Sunday, 29 November.
There are beautiful and rich traditions behind the celebration of Advent. Let’s take a deeper look at the focus and themes of each week of Advent and some of the traditions celebrated around the world during the Advent season.
Saint Catherine’s Day is 25 November. It has retained its popularity throughout the centuries. It commemorates the martyrdom of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Origins and customs.
In the German-speaking countries, Thanksgiving is an autumn harvest celebration called Erntedank or Erntedankfest (“harvest thanksgiving festival”). The observance usually takes place in September or October, depending on the region. Similar harvest festivals are common in many countries and regions around the globe.
Every year on November 5th, for reasons lost in antiquity, the villagers of Ottery St Mary, Devon in England’s West Country race through the streets carrying heavy barrels full of flaming tar in one of the quirkiest of British traditions. The West Country has a history of torchlight processions and a tradition of burning barrels and rolling them down the streets, but Ottery is the only village where barrels aren’t rolled but carried above the head. The tradition is believed to have started in the 17th century, possibly when someone decided that rolling barrels were tame and carrying barrels on the shoulders was far more appealing.
Originally posted on Europe Renaissance:
Nowadays, in many Western countries the latter half of autumn signals the coming of Halloween on October 31st. Halloween is the last major celebration before Christmas, and already in early October spooky decorations and costumes creep into shops, schools and houses. However, in…