We have gotten used to connecting December with Christmas shopping, carolling, company parties, Secret Santa etc. All of them quite modern inventions. There is, however, one tradition that is said to have started in the 5th century: the advent. From the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “arrival”. Initially the weeks of fasting and reflection were supposed to be in preparation for Christ’s Second Coming followed by the Judgment Day. However, due its modern relation to Christmas many people think what is being celebrated is the birth of Jesus.
In the western Christian tradition, the advent starts on the 4th Sunday leading up to Christmas which is usually between 27th November and 3rd December. In very religious households any festivities or dancing are strictly forbidden during advent. It is time for fasting and reflection.
For most of us advent is associated with the wreath and the calendar, both 19th century Lutheran inventions. The wreath as we know it today used to have a small candle for each day leading up to Christmas. Today we have four candles which are supposed to be lit on each of the advent Sundays and, depending on tradition, they represent hope, faith, joy and peace.
Everyone’s favourite calendar normally features a depiction of the manger scene, Saint Nicholas or the winter weather. The 24 windows count down the days to Christmas Eve and each window hides a little token – these days we have gotten used to tasty chocolate treats. Some people like to prepare those calendars by hand as a surprise for their loved ones.
In the Scandinavian countries we can find a very atypical version of the calendar. Since the beginning of the 60s every day of the advent the television has provided productions either for children, adults or both. Here in Sweden, in 2022, it will be a series titled Kronprinsen som försvann.
If you would like to spend the advent Sundays with your nearest and dearest, we have some suggestions on how you can make that time even more special.
Square Mango Tray
You can place your wreath with four candles on this tray and showcase it on the dining table.
Soapstone 'Mughal Motif Candle Holder'
In order to create a cosy space for meditation and reflection, why not use the candle holder that will create beautiful patterns of light and shadow on your walls.