Door 16: St. Lucia’s Day
Task 1: Famous first words: Tradition has it that the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize are woken up by the St. Lucia maidens, as St. Lucia’s Day (Dec. 13) is just three days after the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony and many laureates stay long enough to be able to take in the St. Lucia festivities. Imagine one of your favorite (fictional) characters had won that prize: How would you think (s)he would greet the maidens? (If you’ve used the Nobel Peace Prize for Door 15, Task 3, this can be the same character, of course … or a different one, just as you wish.)
Task 2: Compile a list of five or more carols, poems, short stories, novels or other pieces of writing that feature sleigh rides.
1. Hogfather - DEATH and Albert sleighing it.
2. Sleigh Ride - the Ella Fitzgerald version
3. Das Buschgespenst - Yes, I had to check my copy, but Arndt gets a lift on a sleigh...as arranged by his brother-in-law.
And on the darker side:
4. The Snow Queen - by Hans Christian Andersen, featuring the scariest of all sleigh rides ever...even my nomination for # 5 can't beat that one, even if it may have been inspired by it:
5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ... which also features a witch and her sleigh up to no good and taking a young boy for a ride.
Task 3: Trolls, gnomes, dwarves and similar beings (some evil, some less so, almost all of them mischievous) are a staple of Scandinavian mythology and folklore, as well as other folklores and mythologies around the world and, of course, fantasy and speculative fiction. Who is your favorite such creature and why? (No matter whether mythological, fictional or from whatever other source.)
Task 4: The historic (3d century AD) St. Lucia was Italian; yet, like those of many other saints (including, e.g., St. Andrew and St. Nicholas), the most important celebrations of her holiday don’t occur in her place of origin but somewhere else in the world.
Book: Read a book set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, by a Northern European / Nordic author, with a predominantly white cover (or white with red lettering), newly released in November or December of this year, or set in the candle-lit world (i.e., before the discovery of electricity – roughly, that is, before the late 19th century).
Oooh, the Stanley Wells book I am currently reading qualifies for this!!!