Thursday, January 5, 2012

Advent lights and glöggmingels

Advent in Sweden is celebrated the four weeks before Christmas. Here is the story of Advent:
Advent means arrival, or coming, and since the 5th century AD has heralded the Christmas season and the birth of Christ. Since the 1890s, the custom in Sweden has been to light a candle every Sunday during Advent. The candles used to be placed in tiny Christmas trees, but from the 1930s onwards these were superseded by candlesticks of iron or wood. The Moravian custom of hanging a star made from paper, straw or chipwood in windows also found its way to Sweden in the 1930s, recalling the star that guided the Three Wise Men. The advent calendar dates from around this time as well. Children open a window in the calendar for each passing day until Christmas Eve.

In agrarian times, Advent was a hectic period when all farmwork was to be completed so that people could take Christmas leave. By 9 December,‘Anna Day’, the Christmas brew was to be ready, the lutfisk was to be soaked in lye and the baking was to begin. On Lucia Day, 13 December, candles were to be made and animals slaughtered for the Christmas table, and after Tomas Day, 21 December, all milling and spinning was to cease. Christmas fairs were then held in town. Since the Middle Ages, Swedes have drunk hot mulled wine (glögg), during Advent.
by Agneta Lilja, Södertörn University College
Dale and I celebrated Advent by putting up an Advent light in our window (which is now packed up and shipping home, I couldn't part with it!). 
Here's a glimpse at the other Advent lights on our street. I think it's really beautiful to see all the light and it really does help brighten things up, especially with less than 6 hours of daylight and cloudy weather.
The four sundays of Advent the Swedes get together with friends or family for an Adventsfika or glöggmingel. My coworker had us over for a glöggmingel and we had the pleasure of drinking the glögg with her and some of her friends and family as well as eating ham, saffron buns, and gingerbread cookies (pepparkakor). It was cozy and comforting to just relax with friends during all the holiday craziness. 

Candles and mingles?! I just might have to adopt these traditions!
Love Always,


Post a Comment