Santa Lucia

Before Pope Gregory tweaked the Julian calendar and caused a great deal of confusion, 13 December was celebrated as the winter solstice in Scandinavia. The poem by the late 16th century English writer, John Donne, “A Nocturnal upon St Lucy’s Day, Being the Shortest Day” shows that Protestant countries were still celebrating Midwinter in the… Continue reading Santa Lucia

Jolly Old Elf

St Nicholas December 6th is St Nicholas' Day. Nicholas is an interesting figure, or perhaps collection of figures, as the case may be. The official Nick was a bishop of Myra. His legends claim that he was born in about 270CE to wealthy parents in Greek Lycia. While still a child, he was orphaned by… Continue reading Jolly Old Elf