Something Swedish

Swedish Advent: A Christmas Countdown

1 Comment

_20191222_100140

Today is the fourth advent, the last Sunday before Christmas, the day for lighting the fourth and final candle of the adventsljusstake. Christmas is almost here.

2012-12-01 18.44.42

Four Sundays before Christmas (somewhere between the 27 nov -3 dec) the long, dark, cold nights leading up to winter solstice are brightened by the appearance of glowing Christmas stars and advent decorations illuminating the windows of almost every store, office building and home. While walking down any street at all, the collective and uniform effect of all these lights creates the magical, warm coziness of Christmas.

2012-12-01 19.11.19

The electric advent decorations are typically five or seven lights instead of four, giving a symmetrical triangular shape, perfect for displaying in windows.

_20191222_162301DSC_0369

And so, the first advent candle is lit – but not for too long, it has to last for four weeks. Glögg med russin och mandel (mulled wine  with raisins and almonds) is warmed on stove-tops and enjoyed with pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies) and lussebullar (Saffron buns). Advent presents are stuffed into stockings each sunday leading up to Christmas, building to the anticipation.

_20191222_120033

The well-known tradition of advent calendars is taken one step further than the joy of opening  cardboard windows to reveal a piece of chocolate everyday. On the first of December stores reveal their version – a julkalender (Christmas calendar) to showcase what super-deals they have to offer each of the 24 days. The local TV channel TV4 has a tradition of airing a different “Julkalender” every year – a mini series with a new episode each day at the same time (25 minutes) for the children (and adults) to enjoy while waiting for the big day to arrive.

ahlens-julkalender-2018

How do you celebrate the advents? We dedicate these sundays to christmas-y things: putting up and decorating the Christmas tree, going Christmas shopping (most stores are closed on Sundays in Sweden – but are open on the advents!), visiting julmarknad (Christmas markets), watching Christmas movies, having a plate of traditional Christmas food at home or going to a restaurant for julbord (Christmas table), wrapping Christmas presents. All while enjoying the coziness of the advent candle(s) and the tastiness of glögg.

dsc_0261.jpgdsc_0270.jpgDSC_0268

Jag önskar er en god jul och gott nytt år!

One thought on “Swedish Advent: A Christmas Countdown

  1. Hi Meghan, thanks for highlighting the purpose of holiday lights as a counter balance to long dark nights. I don’t think I ever thought of it like that before. I enjoyed your post. Keep sending us more! Merry Christmas!

Comments, Feedback, Questions, and Answers are Welcome Here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s