Dalesburg Historical
History, heritage, community, and events

The 37th Annual Celebration of the St. Lucia Tradition in Dalesburg

Please join us Saturday, December 13; 3:00 p.m. at Dalesburg Lutheran Church


Our Lucia Tradition in Dalesburg

Our Lucia Tradition began on December 13, 1977.  The Swedish language classes had begun in February 1977 and continued in the fall.  It was decided to have a Lucia celebration to end the “fall term.”  The evening began with a “service” in the sanctuary of Dalesburg Lutheran Church.  The “service” included a Lucia Court with Star Boys, songs and readings with Elmer Trotzig reading the Christmas Gospel in Swedish.  Following the “service” there was a potluck supper in the church basement which was followed by a “long dance” through the basement.

As the years passed we have changed to a sit-down event in the church basement with a Scandinavian buffet and program.   We continue to have a Lucia Court of local girls.  One of which is Lucia either by election or draw-of- the-hat.  We’ve added a julgran (Christmas tree) decorated in a Nordic style and sometimes the spelmän come and play a few tunes.

We celebrate a tradition that is very old and a tradition with a number of sources.  Some see the source as the Lucia who was martyred for her Christian faith during the time of the Roman Empire.  The story of her martyrdom and canonization as a saint came to Scandinavia with the coming of Christianity.  Some see the source as a young woman in white coming out of Nordic mythology.  The communality is “light.”  The “light” of St. Lucia who was blinded by her oppressors, symbolizes the gift of sight and our concern for the blind.  Lucia’s generosity in bring food to her friends serves as an example to us in how we should show compassion to others.  The “light” of the young woman in white came to the Vikings during the dark, long winter nights.  The young woman, later Lucia came during the longest nights to remind the people that these nights will pass and summer will return.

We each have our own reasons for celebrating Lucia.  We celebrate the legend and message of St. Lucia.  We celebrate our Scandinavian heritage in food.  We celebrate it in old hymns from pre-dawn julotta services on Christmas Days past.  We hear the Swedish heritage in the spoken and sung words of the language of our foreign-born ancestors.

We celebrate and are pleased with the participation of our younger people in our Lucia Celebration.  We welcome their presence at the celebration of our and their heritage.

Welcome to Lucia!  We welcome your presence.  We welcome your involvement in preparing for our annual event.

Ron Johnson