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A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day

Happy St. Lucy's Day. The Latin name Lucia shares a root (luc-) with the Latin word for light, lux. A number of traditions the incorporate symbolic meaning of St. Lucy as the bearer of light in the darkness of winter, her feast day being 13 December. Because some versions of her story relate that her eyes were removed, either by herself or by her persecutors, she is the patron saint of the blind. She is also the patron saint of glaziers and stained glass workers. 

Her feast once coincided with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year before calendar reforms, so her feast day has become a festival of light. This is particularly seen in Scandinavian countries, with their long dark winters. There, a young girl dresses in a white dress and wears a crown or wreath of candles on her head. It is said that to vividly celebrate St. Lucy's Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light. Enjoy St. Lucy's Day with John Donne's A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day, read by Accredited Lecturer Karin Fernald.


Our Societies support hundreds of local arts and heritage projects. Each day we highlight a grant given in 2021.  

The art and design department of Broadwater School in Farncombe, Surrey has been awarded a grant from The Arts Society Guildford which will go towards exposing its students to the work of other artists by engaging an artist -in-residence to hold a workshop for their GCSE students.

All donations from the Artvent Calendar will go towards The Arts Society’s grant giving fund, which awards grants to help preserve our artistic heritage, support the skills of artists and makers, and improve access to the arts for all.

Please click here to support projects like this one by making a Donation.



Thank you so much for the daily calendar treats. They are very welcome in these strange times . I love todays reading and the beautiful photographs.

Jenifer Mon, 13/12/2021 - 11:27 Permalink

Beautifully read

Jane Carter Mon, 13/12/2021 - 10:18 Permalink

Thank you for reminding us of this wonderful poem.

Philippa Mon, 13/12/2021 - 09:38 Permalink

Listening to the poem read by Karin Fernauld, I was impressed with the wonderful artwork of putting the images together and even seeing the leaves falling from the trees, it takes a good team to put this Artvent calendar together. Well done everyone?

Muriel Lowe Mon, 13/12/2021 - 09:20 Permalink

The reader is accredited lecturer Karin Fernald who also read Rabindranath Togore's "Light" poem on Day one of Artvent and Denise Levertov's "Light" poem on Day eight.

johnmac Mon, 13/12/2021 - 08:29 Permalink

That was beautiful.
Artvent is such a beautiful way to start the day.
Thank you.

BIlly Dawson Mon, 13/12/2021 - 08:25 Permalink

Loved the poem. John Donne is a favourite and it was so well read. Please say who the reader was.

Margaret Siudek Mon, 13/12/2021 - 07:57 Permalink

Happy St Lucy’s Day! Light & Life to all!

Samme Charlesworth Mon, 13/12/2021 - 07:43 Permalink

The poem was beautifully read, and I would like to know who the reader was.

Justine Mon, 13/12/2021 - 07:30 Permalink