Sunday, 30 November 2008

First Advent Is An Important Tradition

in Sweden and a timely one too. It is dark, grey and bleak outside. The snow has melted and the days continue to get darker. It is a long way until summer.

We need First Advent, it gives us something else to think about, it brightens up our life.
The first of the advent candles are lit, marking the countdown until Christmas, or the fourth Sunday before Christmas.

Advent Candles are put on the window sills around the country.
Stars are hung in windows and doorways.

When we leave for work and school in the mornings in the darkness, they light up our way.
When we come home in the afternoon or evening in the darkness, they light up our way. The combination creates a special, magical feeling that I strongly associate with my first weeks in Sweden, many years ago.

The first Sunday in Advent is also the first day of the church year, and a day when people who are not normally church-goers might attend an advent service, often to see young children singing.

It also means we can officially start drinking glögg and eating pepparkakor.

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