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Beyond the Lone Islands

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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Advent Candles



Tomorrow is the first of the four Advent Sundays leading up to Christmas. So this weekend we light the first of the four candles in the special advent candle holder. These too come in different shapes. In Sweden though, all four candles are traditionally placed in a row; while in some other countries, like Germany, I know that the typical advent candle holder is instead in the shape of a wreath.

The one above is mine, a rather modern one, bought only a few years ago. I took the picture yesterday evening in my living room. I'm afraid it turned out a bit blurry, but never mind. 

The advent candle holder below is an older and more traditional one that my parents always used. This kind is shaped like a box, with a handle on each side, and traditionally you fill it with white moss, and some other decorations on top of that if you wish.



Filling a candle holder with moss etc is a bit of a fire hazard though, and that is why I in later years have abandoned that tradition. (Although of course the shops nowadays sell specially prepared moss that is not supposed to burn; but then it is drenched with chemicals instead.)  As you can see in the first picture I have some decorations on my holder too, but as the candles burn lower, I remove those.

As you light the first candle the first week, then the second the next week, then the third, then the fourth... When you get to the 4th Sunday, the candles will be in the shape of a "stair", the first candle by then very short and the last one still high. You don't really see that in the picture of my parents' candle holder, because after the 4th Sunday, they used to make a fuss of getting the candles even again. Which means, of course, blowing out the first one, until the next one has got down to the same size as that one, and then blow out the second one and wait for the third etc... I never understood why they bothered, and I never do that. One thing I can't stand however is if the first candle is burned down, and someone just puts in a new tall one in its place. Looks all wrong to me! At first chance, I'd be there to rearrange them! - LOL - We all have our own hang-ups!

Tomorrow, my brother and I will try and see if we can find the "advent stuff" in some closet in dad's house and arrange a bit of time-of-the-year atmosphere there, too. This used to be mum's job, so it will no doubt be a strange feeling...


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5 comments:

GB said...

I not only found the explanation fascinating and interesting but I was also interested to see the bookcase in your living toom. I like books in living rooms.

Heather said...

Advent candles....

We do this at church each Sunday. It is a special celebration leading us to that wonderful day :)

DawnTreader said...

GB, I like books in living rooms too. In this flat I'm lucky enough to have a separate study but I still can't imagine a living room without at least one bookcase - it would look uninhabited! (In fact I have three in the living room, four in the study
and one in the bedroom...)

Dan Felstead said...

Dawn Treader we also celebrate Advent here in the US but it doesn't seem to be as big of a deal as it used to be...at least in our area.

Dan

rae said...

Great explanation! I remember always having a pink candle in our advent wreath, but I don't know why. I'll have to look it up, now, because the curiosity will kill me!

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