For those of Scandinavian descent, Dec. 13 is one of the most highly cherished days of the year, serving as the official beginning of the yuletide season.
Residents of Sweden, Norway and other nearby countries, have regarded the day as the longest of the year. Additionally, it marks the start of the days with no more sunlight.
Traditionally, this is the time to give animals an extra portion of food, as well as an opportunity to donate food to the needy.
A month later, the season would conclude on Jan. 13, which is known as "Tjugondedag Knut," or the 20th day of Knut.
In celebration of the sacred day, the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation developed the Lucia Program. The Lucia Program is not meant to detract from Advent, nor the Christmas season, but to add to it.
This year the celebration will be held at 2 p.m. in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 825 Forest Ave., on Sunday.
Emily Nelson, a junior at Jamestown High School, has been selected as this year's Lucia. Emily is the daughter of Tom and Debbie Nelson. She has been active in the Lucia Program for eight years. She has also been active with Jamestown High School A Cappella choir, the JHS Red Raiders Marching Band, plays saxophone in concert band, the tennis team, Bethel Lutheran Bell Choir, Key Club and is a member of the Jamestown Prendergast Library teen advisory council. Her attendants will be Haly Morgenstern, Samantha Hearburg, Elyse Jones, Hannah Tibbitts.
Participants in the program include Gail Espinoza, organist; Michelle Battaglia and Daniela Casado, trumpeters; Susanna Ecklof and the Rev. Alan Anderson, readers.
Following the program will be a social hour with coffee punch, Lucia Buns and Swedish cookies. There is no charge, but donations will be accepted to help cover the costs.
Entertainment during the social hour will be provided by the Thule Lodge children's "Three Crown Club" dancers, directed by Donna Johnson and accompanied by Don Sanby, accordionist.
Program coordinators include Donna Johnson, Gerd Brigotta, Susanna Ecklof, Maria Malmstrom and Norm Owen. For more information, call 487-1849.