Madame Renard Shares a Joy Filled Life Italian Style

S.Lucia statue _ siracusa

Image provided by Madame Renard

St. Lucia Day as it is celebrated in Italy! It is not easy to find information.

Even though St. Lucia was born in Sicily, her day is not widely celebrated in Italy - mostly in Siracusa - the town of her birth - and in the villages of the north.

Information abounds if one is looking for ways in which Scandinavian people celebrate St. Lucy Day. But finding information about Italian customs and traditions - much more difficult.

So I am truly indebted to Silvia for writing this beautiful story to share St. Lucia celebrations in Sicily and in the villages of northern Italy.

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Silvia has also been so willing and generous in taking the time to share Italian cultural traditions. She left this comment on my Mid-Winter post the beginning of the month and I was thrilled to have the information.

"In Italy we have a particular tradition for today (2nd february).Today is a feast called "candelora" (the feast of candles). A proverb says: -if today is sunny, winter is finished - if today is rainy and windy, winter will be with us for other 40 days.

"Tomorrow we will use the candles in a particular way. On 3rd February we go to the church, when the priest puts two crossed candles on our throats. This is a special blessing, it has the purpose to move away flu and other illness of respiratory system. We say that Saint Biagio sends the blessing and we have also a popular proverb about this ("San Biagio benedice la gola e il naso").

"And we eat a piece of panettone, the traditional XMas cake, saved from Xmas for today."

FYI - I have added eating a piece of saved panettone to my celebrations on February 2nd.

Picture 11

Photo taken by silvia - Madame Renard

Silvia has been blogging as Madame Renard for a little over a year - she celebrated her very first blog birthday the end of December! I am pretty sure we came to know each other by way of the many mutual online friends we both enjoy.

She is an active member of the "Etsy Italia Team" and keeps her Etsy Shop - Madame Renard - well stocked with beautiful handmade bags and wearable accessories.

Many of the items she makes - like the bedside basket above crocheted using tee shirt yarn - are made using scraps of fabric that would otherwise go unused and most probably to the landfill. Silvia can turn almost anything into a lovely piece of wearable art, or a soft toy bunny (pattern included), or a lovely crocheted coin purse.

One thing I enjoy about Silvia's blog is that it is not just about her shop! She frequently shares bits and pieces of her life in Italy - beautiful images of her home town in the north; the lovely jars of olives she and her sweetheart set out to cure last fall; and pictures of her Mother's beautiful hand crafted nativity collection.

Dala horse stamp finished!

Photo by Silvia - Madame Renard

And she wholeheartedly joins in and participates in the online craft community - sharing St. Lucia with me is just one example!

Silvia also supported and participated in the Dala Craftalong by creating this beautiful little Dala Stamp!

And look at her little Angels! She made a few of Margit's Angels on Christmas Eve while she was spending the holiday at her parent's home. I can't tell you how delighted I was to see that Margit's angels found such a pretty home in Italy!

You will definitely want to read more about Silvia in this interview featured on Carina's Craft Blog last summer.

So..... I guess you can see why, in the year that Silvia has been blogging, I have become a fan!!!

Thank you, Silvia, for your willingness to take the time to share the customs and traditions of Italy both in your blog and with me personally. For the considerable effort you go to writing Madame Renard in English so that I am able to enjoy your words. And most importantly thank you for extending to me your hand in friendship.

And now! I have one last piece of Panettone saved from Christmas and I am going to enjoy it with a cup of coffee in your honor!

Oh!  Just so you know - I just tried spreading it with Lingon Berries in honor of the two cultures that celebrate St. Lucia! 

Delizioso! Läckra!

Lovely. My kids and I

Lovely. My kids and I watched a food channel special during Christmas this year on panettone and I am itching to try making it. :)

Silvia makes some wonderful

Silvia makes some wonderful things. Her Mother's nativity scenes are amazing and so creative.

Pam! :) What a surprise for

Pam! :)
What a surprise for me! A blog post about me!
You moved me, my eyes are a bit wet now, but I have a great smile on my face, too! :)
Thank you so much!!!

You wrote something true: I don't write my blog to promote my shop. I have a blog because I like to share my creative world with other people and because I want to document my life :)
I'm so happy you like it!

Thank you for this blog post and for your appreciation

Silvia, you are very welcome

Silvia, you are very welcome - it was my pleasure to write this post! And to share uyou with any readers who may not yet know your blog.

I know from our e-mails that at the time you prepared the text for St. Lucia, you were very busy and a great many things were going on in your life; so I am doubly indebted that you still made the time.

And BTW - I loved seeing those big jars of brined olives lined up on the shelf waiting to cure.  I had no idea that at the start of the process the olives are so bright green!!

I always learn something when I visit!

Hi Pam, :-D Thank you for

Hi Pam, :-D

Thank you for this nice blog post about Silvia. I remember seing her Dala horse stamp that she had made and some of her writings around the blogosphere. I will make sure to stop by her blog as it seems we have some similar tastes and/or idea.
Plus, I don't remember if I told you before, but I have some italian blood from my mother. :) So I have many italian traditions in my family.

Much hugs to you! xox!

Hugs back to you Fanie! So! 

Hugs back to you Fanie!

So!  You have been holding out on me!  Is that it?  :-)

When you have time, I would love to know of some of the traditions you follow from the italian side of your family.

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