Lindsborg in McPherson County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Welcome to Lucia Park
The story of Lucia, the symbol of light amid the darkness for Sweden, has many different versions. Although her feast day is celebrated on December 13th in Sweden, Lindsborg celebrates Lucia Day on the second Saturday in December. Lucia was born far away in southern Italy, in the third century A.D. It is said that after seeing her mother miraculously healed, she made a vow never to marry and to give the money that would have been her dowry to the poor. She refused to marry the man her family had chosen for her and some say he denounced her for her faith and was responsible for having her put to death. She died a martyr's death in 303 A.D.
How the story of Lucia came to be such an important part of Swedish culture is somewhat of a mystery. Did the Vikings know of her and brought the legend to the North? Did monks tell of her martyrdom? It is not clear how Lucia from Sicily became Sweden's beacon of light during the darkest period of the year, though one legend popular among Swedish Americans tell of a woman dressed in white standing in the bow of a boat crossing Lake Vänern. She was bringing food to the people of Värmland, who were dying of hunger during a famine many years ago. They say she wore a wreath in her hair, crowned with a ring of lighted candles. To this day, December 13th is one of the high points of the season
Early in the morning of December 13th, the oldest daughter in the family in Sweden has the privilege of being the Lucia, wearing a long white gown sashed in red, with a wreath of lingonberry leaves on her hair. Candles - now usually run on batteries - are set into the wreath. Her sisters wear white gowns with tinsel in their hair and around their waists. Boys in the family wear tall pointed hats with stars on them. The "Starboys" traditionally are associated with wise men. The children awaken their parents and offer them coffee, saffron-flavored buns called Lussekatter and ginger snaps, called pepparkakor. Lucia progams are held in schools, businesses and at public gatherings.
Location. 38° 34.388′ N, 97° 40.541′ W. Marker is in Lindsborg, Kansas, in McPherson County. Marker is on Main Street near Lincoln Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 107 South Main Street, Lindsborg KS 67456, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Farmers State Bank Building (a few steps from this marker); Our Founders in Architectural Heaven (within shouting distance of this marker); Bernquist & Nelson Drugstore Clareen & Peterson Restaurant (about 300 feet away); Hjerpe Grocery (about 300 feet away); Lindsborg Post Office (about 400 feet away); Holmberg and Johnson Blacksmith & Wagonshop (about 500 feet away); Den Svenska Timmerstugan (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lindsborg.
Also see . . .
1. The Festival of Santa Lucia. (Submitted on April 2, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Lindsborg, Kansas; Little Sweden U.S.A. (Submitted on April 2, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • Charity & Public Work • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 2, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 342 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 2, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.