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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Denmark, Lesson 3 - St. Lucy's Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class: Holidays in Denmark Series at DanishClass101.com.
In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Danish holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 3, St. Lucy's Day. In Danish, it’s called luciadag.
St. Lucy's Day, which is celebrated on December 13th, originally had nothing to do with Christmas. Even so, many St. Lucy's Day traditions are associated with Christmas festivities. It’s even become a tradition to celebrate this day with Christmas parties in all Danish schools.
In this lesson, you'll learn more about how the Danish celebrate St. Lucy's Day.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question:
What do Danes call the night of December 13th?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The legend says that Lucy was a young Christian woman who refused to worship the Roman emperor, and, as a result, was murdered and died a martyr. It is said, she carried a light on her head to ensure her hands were free when she cared for the old and sick
The main event that takes place on St. Lucy's Day are the St. Lucy processions that take place in kindergartens and elementary schools. A St. Lucy "procession", or procession, includes children dressed in white gowns with a red band around their waist. Each one carries a lit candle. At the front of this procession is a guide representing St. Lucy. Although most often played by a girl, the role can also be played by a boy. In either case, the person playing St. Lucy will wear a crown or a wreath with four lit candles on his or her head.
During this procession, a Lucy-song is played. This song explains how Lucy brings the "light," or lys, to the darkness and spreads happiness and joy. After the procession, everyone eats "Lucy buns," or luciabrød, which are sweet saffron buns.
The St. Lucy processions are not only found in kindergartens and elementary schools. Often, children are invited to nursing homes, churches, and Christmas concerts to spread joy and the Christmas spirit through their St. Lucy procession and songs. One might even see St. Lucy processions in stores or in streets and alleys.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question:
Do you know what the Danish call the night of December 13th?
Lussenatten: a name that originates from Swedish. On the morning after this night, it’s not uncommon, especially in rural communities, for young women to wake up their families early in the morning when it’s still dark outside. Taking the role of “Lucy,” they offer their loved ones a tray of drink and food — typically the saffron buns that are associated with the holiday.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you celebrate St. Lucy's Day in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at DanishClass101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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