November 30, 2008

1st Advent.

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.


Diane said...

OK, it's official... I want to spend Christmas in Scandinavia. Actually, I think I want to LIVE in Scandinavia.

Holly said...

I go out of town for just a few days and miss soo much fun stuff! :) It looks like it feels very much like the Holiday season where you live, even if the snow is a few miles away. I really like your photo of the lantern with snow on it.

I am very impressed that you cut your own tree. I am not near motivated enough for that;)!! It makes it a fond memory that you get to spend that time with your good friends.

I am ashamed to say that I had never even heard of 1st Advent until now. It is very intrigueing. I am with Diane,...I want to come and enjoy your culture for a while!!

Zuzana said...

Diane and Holly, yo are very welcome to come and visit! I will be happy to have you over and show you Denmark.:)

Zuzana said...

And I meant you of course, not yo, I always spell so bad.:P

Keera Ann Fox said...

I don't light the four candles of advent because it is a Christian rite. But I do put up electric lights in my windows like the other Norwegians do come advent. I love how all the lit windows make the dark evenings cozy and beautiful.

Hilary said...

Lovely photo.. and tradition. Maybe Diane and Holly will swing by and pick me up..

Zuzana said...

Hilary, all three of you are paying me a great compliment with liking this enough for a visit.;)))

Zuzana said...

Keera, I know what you mean, I have those lights in my windows as well. This far up north, as we both are, any light is welcome.:))
Thanks for stopping by, I am posting your tag today.:))