You better have slaughtered Your pig today.

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Today is a big day here in Sweden because today we celebrate the catholic saint Lucia, a rather odd tradition since we have been a strictly Lutheran protestant nation since the middle of the 1500’s. The tradition became popular amongst the common people around 1920 but it had been celebrated more or less the same way aristocratic families since the 1700’s. So all over this country they’ve had Lucia processions where they sing yule songs and we usually have coffee, tea or julmust and eat gingerbread and a bun we call Lussekatt. Lussekatt is a wheat bun usually spiced with cardamom, saffron and sometimes raisins. Here’s a link to different videos of our Luciatåg.

 

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But we’ve had a tradition to celebrate this day since way in to the middle ages. Back then December 13th was when we had the winter solstice so that was when the night was as longest and all the beings were as strongest. It was the start of the Yule and it was best for everyone if all chores for yule had been done by then, like the slaughter of the pig for example. If one hadn’t done all chores there was a risk that Lussi, a female demon being (well here in southern Sweden it was a male one instead), would pay a visit to the home. She would punish the family who wasn’t ready to celebrate yule properly.

 

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Lots of Trumpet swans were flying around between the lakes this morning.

Lots of Trumpet swans were flying around between the lakes this morning.

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She would also come down the chimney and take children who hadn’t behaved good and those children would never be seen again. But all beings were extra powerful this long night, so people would stay at home and very few would sleep at all that night, one never knew if a troll would try to get in to the home. Trolls could swap their children to a human one ( I guess it was because they thought humans had better homes and wanted the best for their children) and that could be a big problem since troll kids never could behave properly 🙂 One could think that humans would be able to see a difference in their own children and troll children but unless it is a mountain troll trolls look very much like us humans and actually behaves much like us too but there’s one big difference and that is that trolls have tails. I think that at least I would have seen that tail pretty early 🙂

 

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If one should notice that the child was swapped one way to get ones own child back is to threaten the troll child with spanking. No one loves its own child more than a troll mother and she would know as soon as the threat came and quickly swap the children again. A troll is never cruel to its children and no matter how nice that home was they would never allow anything bad to happen to them. But more about troll in a later post.

 

Surprise! I rarely show humans here :-)

Surprise! I rarely show humans here 🙂

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Today has been quite wonderful but rather cold. I woke up to a world covered in frost and we went out before the sun even was close to rising above the horizon. I wanted to be sure to see the sunrise so we started by walking in to the village this morning too, only because I knew there would be no hunters in the forest today. I had brought the old Edixa with me too but half way home it was so co,d that the old camera froze and wouldn’t work 🙂 So we went home, left that one and brought the analog Nikon instead and that one worked perfectly. So off to the forest and creek we went. Unfortunately the ground wasn’t that deep frozen as I had wished for so we couldn’t walk up-stream as I had hoped, perhaps it will be by next weekend even if it will be warmer by then again.

 

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We walked out to the bog on our afternoon walk and to the small creek we usually follow when we’re there. It was a bit difficult to reach it though since all the debris after the tree chopping still is there. Tomorrow’s work again because I didn’t win the lottery this time either 🙂 The fire is burning in the stove and the radiator is on in the dog house, tonight will be rather chilly.

 

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Have a great Saint Lucia’s day!

 

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16 responses

  1. If I had a pig, Lussi would surely visit!
    😉
    Your photos make feel cold!
    It’s supposed to hit 60 here today, that’s very odd for us.
    There has been rain though, so I won’t be outside to enjoy it.
    Love the color of that first photo, it’s the color of my new (to me) car!
    LOL! 😀 😀 😀

    December 13, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    • Hi Cindi!

      Yes Lussi would most likely have paid You a visit 🙂

      We’ll reach almost towards next weekend, it would have been better if it stayed this way for a while, even if I hate to scrape car windows 🙂

      Deep blue then? 🙂

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm

  2. I enjoyed the stories and the photos so so very much!!!!
    Thank you for sharing this,, no killing pigs here today although I have pork sausages cooking at the moment,,lol,

    December 13, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    • Hi Laurie!

      I’m glad You like them 🙂

      I don’t even have any sausages here at home today 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Christer.

      December 13, 2015 at 6:19 pm

  3. Hi Christer,
    Frosty weather, snowy weather. Makes for lovely photographs. 🙂 Who are the people? Looks like they’re clearing brush.

    As I recall, our pigs went off to the abattoir sometime in September or October and were definitely in neat packages in our freezer by November. Lussi would have no problems with that, I think.

    Speaking of Lussi, it’s interesting that her name is similar to Lucia (at least in English). I wonder if people somehow decided that celebrating Saint Lucia was a perfect way to celebrate the solstice and appease Lussi.

    It’s relatively warm today but it’s also very cloudy and damp. Not at all like yesterday and closer to normal December weather. Rain is forecast for later on.
    It has been so unusually warm lately that the giant spider on the outside of my bathroom window showed up last night. She’s been dormant, I guess, for a couple of weeks or more. Last night she was feasting on Winter Moths. I was finally able to get a good look at her markings and was able to determine that she is probably Areneus diadematus or Cross Orbweaver. She’s lovely and huge and European but now common here. And she eats Winter Moths which are also European and not at all welcomed. 🙂 I still can’t get a photograph of her, though.

    Enjoy the day.

    December 13, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    • Hi Caryn!

      I think frosty weather is even better than snowy since the frost is so light and don’t weigh down the branches.
      One is my neighbor from the farm and the other one is a friend of his who comes here to hunt and to help with all kinds of things and yes that’s what they are doing 🙂

      No, Lussi would have liked that part but then again You would have to have everything else ready for christmas as well so she would most likely find something not to her liking 🙂

      I don’t think so. It was called Lussenatta (Lusse night) because of Lussi that I know but I’m not sure how much the lutheran protestant aristocraty knew about catholic saints back then. To be honest, we still know very little about saints today 🙂 We know about our own, Saint Birgitta and about Saint Francis because he’s the patron of the animals but I think that’s it 🙂

      How cool! That is actually our biggest spider (and my favorite spider as well) and one of the few that actually can give us a painful bite 🙂 There’s a realtive to it here, just as big but it has a red cross instead, looks really deadly 🙂 I know we should keep our species here at home but then again I’ve read that the spider I have here in my cottage (I call them all Charlotte) actually is an American immigrant here 🙂 Can’t remember its name though and I can’t find that article again.

      Have a great day!

      Christer.

      December 13, 2015 at 9:36 pm

  4. Dianna

    Hi Christer! Your photos today are GORGEOUS!!!! I love the ones of the cottages with their lights on. So magickal! 🙂 🙂 Love the story of St. Lucia and the children/trolls. I laughed at the spanking part – that’s funny. I must have channeled it unknowingly today as I made one million gingersnaps and although not gingerbread, I think its close enough because it has ginger in it. I also made a nanaimo slice. I hope its delicious! Next will be rum balls but I will leave that for next weekend. I can only do so much!! 🙂 Finally am able to sit down with some coffee and catch up on emails. We are cloudy here and foggy. I think its actually called ice fog but its rather lovely. Made the world sepia toned today. We went out yesterday and part of our purchases was a harness and collar all in one for Karma. She is incredibly strong and I have such a hard time when she wants to pull. Half the battle is getting her to calm down when seeing another dog. 🙂 I hope the rest of your day was lovely and yes, I didn’t win the lottery either so back to work tomorrow. We have a Christmas lunch at our main office tomorrow at another hospital. Should give us a nice break for a couple of hours. 🙂 Off to check out your video link!

    December 13, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    • Hi Dianna!

      I’m glad You liked it all 🙂

      A troll, no matter how angry iot is on its child would never harm the child in any way, so it’s easy to see if the child is swapped by just threaten to do spank the baby 🙂

      I’ve never heard of a nanaimo slice so I had to check what it was. I’m pretty sure I would love it 🙂

      We had a cloudy day here and the temperature stayed around 0c all day and will do so all night too they say. They had predicted rather cold weather for several days but now they say we’ll get warmer already by Wednesday night. We rarely have ice fog but I do like it even if the car windows are impossible to scrape the ice from 🙂

      Plenty of dogs have that here too so I know what You are talking about. They work very well. It is so much easier when living like I do because I can start by letting the dog walk without a leash and get it to come when I want and to walk proper when I want and then start with the leash. By then they’re so used to do as I say that they tend to forget the leash. That’s impossible to do in a city though and we don’t meet that many dogs either.

      My work place will goto a restaurant on Friday evening to eat a traditional Christmasbord but I won’t go because when I’ve come home from work I have no wish to go elsewhere later in the night. I like my work friends but have no wish to spend my Friday evenings with them 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Christer.

      December 14, 2015 at 6:17 pm

  5. Dianna

    Me again! I checked out those links and stumbled across one called Swedish Lucia for Dummies on Youtube. It was hilarious! They basically broke it down so we understood every thing – but the announcer on there was rather funny! 🙂

    December 13, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    • That one is quite funny 🙂

      December 14, 2015 at 6:18 pm

  6. Kat

    Christer,
    I have a Saint Lucia figure I usually put out for the holidays. She is wearing the candles in her hair and carrying what looks like a Christmas pudding. I am the oldest girl so that would have been me.

    It is so strange to see those people in your picture. I am used to the deer and the dogs.

    The winter is in your pictures with the snow covering and the frost.That is usually us but this is the strangest winter. My sister in Colorado had her third or fourth snowstorm yesterday. It has also been really cold. I’ll be going there next week. I’m bringing my mittens.

    Have a great day!

    December 14, 2015 at 3:57 am

    • Hi Kat!

      How did that one end up with You? Saint Lucia is traditionally only celebrated with burning candles in her hair in Sweden and western Finland 🙂 It is odd that she’s carrying a christmas pudding though, we don’t eat that here 🙂

      I thought You allwould be a bit surprised by seeing people here 🙂 I always tend to take photos without humans no matter where I am but these two were working just in front of me on the backside of my garage so I thought why not 🙂

      No sno this time, just a lot of frost, most of it is gone now though. We’ll go back to warmer weather with rain and strong winds already by Thursday morning. I wish it would have stayed like this for a while now.

      Colorado seems to be a very wintery state. I know theu winters almost always are colder and snowier than ours (thank You Gulf Stream) ut it is strange that they have it so cold when the rest of the US seems to ahev a much warmer winter than usual!
      Yes mittens is a must, and a hat and scarves andanything that keeps You warm 🙂

      Have a great day!

      Christer.

      December 14, 2015 at 6:26 pm

  7. Dom första bilderna, innan eftermiddagsturen, var helt fantastiskt vackra! Och det tycker jag trots att jag inte gillar kyla och snö!! 🙂
    Här ser det inte fullt så vackert ut mitt emot oss. Nästan alla tusentals träd är nere och har nu lagts upp utmed vägen. Dom har redan hämtat tre lass, så dom är ganska snabba. Jag hoppas bara att dom river ihop riset där ute och sen hämtar det också. Men ryktet går att riset ska ligga i högar i ett par år och torka först innan der flisas ner! 😦 Inte så kul att titta på!! 😦 😦
    Men oj oj oj vad ljust det har blivit, helt otroligt. Och dessutom ser vår tomt mycket större ut på grund av att den mörka “trädväggen” försvunnit. Så vi gillar avverkningen…..
    KRAM
    Susie

    December 14, 2015 at 9:14 am

    • Hejsan Susie!

      Vinter är alltid vackert på bild 🙂 Men kyla har jag inte så mycket emot men snö är en annan sak, det gillar jag inte alls. Jag antar att det har att göra med att jag måste köra omkring i det till och från jobbet och det är bara besvärligt.

      Jo så är det, riset kommer att läggas i högar och torka ett par år, men man slutar att tänka på det ganska snart för det är perfekta ställen för fåglar och andra djur att bygga bon i. Till slut brukar jag uppskatta högarna istället 🙂

      Ja nu kommer villkoren för växterna i trädgården att ändras dramatiskt! på gott och ont om jag skall vara ärlig 🙂

      Ha det gott!

      Christer.

      December 14, 2015 at 6:30 pm

  8. I would really like to see some frost because it doesn’t look like we will be getting any snow for awhile. Actually, we don’t even have cold temperatures now which is disappointing. I can handle a non-white Christmas as we and others will be travelling, but it’s winter and we live in New England now, so it’s disappointing. I enjoyed the story about how the trolls swapped children, but would never spank their own.

    December 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    • Hi Beatrice!

      I don’t mind if it is cold and we get lots of frost as long as it doesn’t snow but christmas will be warm here too.

      I’ve understood that our trolls are very different to the ones outside Scandinavia, ours are rather like us but so much better towards theur children.

      Have a great day!

      Christer.

      December 15, 2015 at 6:20 pm

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