Following up my previous post, and since December festivals are getting closer, I could not help associating the madwoman of the Noh play Kanawa 鉄輪 and the Scandinavian representation of St. Lucia. Obviously the two iron crowns with candles have very different meanings – while the Japanese is part of a revenge ritual of a jealous woman, the Scandinavian candles are symbols of the return of the light after the 13th of December.
2 thoughts on “Candle crowns”
I heard on a children's program on German radio today that the name Lucia is a derivitive of the Latin for light, but also for the devil. They said devils rule the shortest night of the year, which on the old calendar was December 13th. They would have parties all night long. I have a feeling St. Lucia is a moralized version of something older and more multi-faceted. So, perhaps the similarity is greater than it seems at first. I only wish the negative portrayal of women in Kanawa were more of an issue. Her character may seem evil now, but it is also tormented. . .
Interesting.. well yeah, Satan's angelic name Lucifero means light-bearer, after all.. and yes, I also think St.Lucia is the Christian version of a pagan deity – same goes for others such as St. Patrick, St. George. And we know that happened in Japan too!