Today the 1st Advent is celebrated in Scandinavia. It is a religious observance taking place four Sundays prior to Christmas Eve. Traditionally families gather and light the first candle, of four, in an Advent wreath or an Advent Candle Holder. I recall fondly this Sunday from my childhood, as this meant the beginning of the Christmas Holiday season.
This was the Sunday when the city came alive. The shops were open long hours and the scent of roasted chestnuts and almonds was heavy in the air, while the merchants in the street stands tempted the passerby’s with a glass of hot red vine.
Later in the evening, at a certain hour, as by magic, all the millions of Christmas lights were turned on simultaneously and the city was "illuminated" by enchanted lights, not to be turned off for the next thirty days. This was also traditionally when the massive Christmas tree in the city square was lit while people were lining the streets to watch the Christmas parade.
Today I prefer to spend the 1st Advent in the safe and comfortable confinements of my home thinking about those I dearly love and miss very much.
Happy First Advent Denmark.
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