California Lutheran University student Steven Boggess, center, lights a candle in the crown of Amanda Berg, playing the role of Sankta Lucia, in the annual Sankta Lucia Festival at CLU, Wednesday, December 7, 2011. At left is Mark Banuelos and right is Quinn Stone.
The Swedish ceremony, which has been part of the universityÕs holiday celebrations since its early years, pays homage to the Christian martyr who died at the stake on Dec. 13, 304 A.D. Swedish immigrants brought the tradition to America. The festival honors the character traits of mercy, humility and purity of heart, as seen in the Beatitudes written in the Gospel of Matthew.
CLUÕs undergraduate students select five female and five male representatives whose depth of character and faith make them leaders in the CLU community. Lucia, her attendants and their escorts enter to an ancient hymn and read an adaptation of the legend then the attendants lit the candles in LuciaÕs crown. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff Photographer)