Advent in Sweden
Advent began on Sunday, November 28 in Sweden. Compared to Australia, it is beyond safe to say that Sweden gets more into the festivities.
Christmas is the shining beacon of hope in a long, dark and dreary winter. A time when the rainy wind is bearable purely because it is almost Christmas.
Pepparkakor (gingerbread), lussebullar (saffron buns with raisins), julmust (a Christmassy cola drink), glögg (mulled wine), julskinka (Christmas ham) and knäck (toffee) suddenly spring up in shops around the start of November, but people really start to embrace it around the first day of advent.
Four Sundays before Christmas the adventljusstake (a tray holding four tall candles and decorated with white moss and other Christmassy things) is lit. Just one candle on the first Sunday; both the first and the second on the second Sunday; the first, second and third on the third Sunday; and all of them on the fourth.
By the time Christmas rolls around, the candles are melted in an upwards diagonal: sort of like pretty, red steps.
We picked the vitmossa (white moss) from Ulvesund, near Birgitta’s house on the bay, saving money and collecting some lovely bugs.
We spent Saturday with Birgitta, who taught me to knit and gave me enough wool for a jumper! I have already knitted most of the front and back, but have paused at the arm-holes, awaiting more kind and patient help because the “börjar raglanintagningarna” part of my Swedish instruction page seems a little too advanced for guesswork.
On Sunday we visited Felix’s aunt/uncle/cousins for an adventskaffe (coffee, glögg and cakes because first-day-of-advent) where I practised my Swedish a little.
Sadly, I did not take any photographs of Felix’s aunt’s perfect lussebullar, but they were really perfect, so that’s all anyone needs to know.
As were his mother’s, who also cooked us a delicious lasagna for dinner.
I received my first Christmas present in the post from my wonderful friend, Hannah, and am currently sipping lemon myrtle tea and getting excited to start my new adult colouring book.
She says they are all the rage in Australia. They fly off the shelves in Sweden as well, and I’ve been eyeing them off for awhile. The perfect wintertime activity.
From now on (it was going to be from Swedish advent, but I was lazy, so now it’s from Australian ‘advent’ which is kind of January first) I’m going to try to blog a different Christmas thing every day.
Watch me fail spectacularly or discover wonderful new cute Swedish Christmas things. <3