Traditions exist in many cultures, they change some over time, they have importance for those who wish to follow them, and importance to those who don't as they are part of what keeps a civilization as it is...essentially stuck in a time warp. Yet, a time warp can be beneficial to others. Others can see what was and know that life, people, the planet itself moves forward and from whence it came.
Don't misunderstand, for me there's an importance of having the base of a pyramid of traditions; but, I believe the pieces can be moved around, it's important for traditions to have some level of flexible in them. Perhaps in ancient times, even more recent less ancient times, they were better followed with a strictness which would ensure a society could be maintained and survive generations to come. Perhaps in the future again it may be necessary to set down firm lines again. They must not be forgotten. If catastrophe should strike, once more, firm traditions would be needed. Maybe some new ones as people now are not the same as ten thousand years ago.
Wed 15 Feb, 2012 11:50 am
The Italian Saint Lucia who died 304(?) was celebrated in Sweden in December during Catholic time.
In a very small part of Sweden it was celebrated even after the Reformation.
The modern tradition of having public processions in the Swedish cities started in 1927 when a newspaper in Stockholm elected an official Lucia for Stockholm that year. The initiative was then followed around the country through the local press. Today most cities in Sweden appoint a Lucia every year. Schools elect a Lucia and her maids among the students and a national Lucia is elected on national television from regional winners. The regional Lucias will visit shopping malls, old people's homes and churches, singing and handing out pepparkakor (gingerbread).
From Sweden it has spread to many parts of the world. I know there are Lutheran Churches in USA which also celebrate Lucia.
This is an example of a rather new tradition which has spread.
Here is something from you tube. Just watch the beginning - it is a long video.