The start of Yule.
Advent first is when Christmas, or Jul (Yule) starts here in Sweden. That is the day when most Swedes goes to church, before it was the Julotta (Christmas service) but people tend not to like to go up early in the morning to be at church at 7am on Christmas day 🙂 At Advent first we light the first candle (out of four) in the Advent candlestick. This habit of lighting candles will later this month be one of the biggest reason why so many homes will burn down because people tend to forget putting out the candles when they leave them.
We now decorate our windows with electric Advent candlesticks (a Swedish invention I might add) that now is beginning to be popular all over the world, well at least the Christian parts 🙂 and we also hang up our Advent stars so they can shine bright in our windows. They are usually made from paper but many have some made from metal or wood too. We put a lightbulb inside the star that is perforated with holes so the light can come out.
The tradition of when to put up the Christmas tree, or as we call it Yule Spruce varies a lot. The old tradition said that it should be brought inside the 23d and decorated on the same evening. My family always brought it in on December 13th and dressed it the same day others waited until December 23d, a very important day here and I’ll tell You about that day later. Some, very few, brought it in on Advent first or December first depending on what came first.
We’ve always had uncolored lights in our trees, the few that had colored ones was seen as slightly odd and probably wanted to be special 🙂 Until now I’ve only seen two trees with colored lights and one of them was mine because I couldn’t find uncolored to the small trees I’ve been having lately 🙂 🙂 🙂 We are kind of lousy to decorate with lights outside but we’re getting better, still very few have colored lights. I guess it can have something to do with that uncolored lights look more like the stars in the sky and only travelling funfairs use colored lights otherwise and even though we always loved travelling funfairs people have always looked down on those working there since they mostly have been gypsies or Traveller communities (no we Swedes are no different to the rest of the world I’m afraid).
This is also the month when the mythological and magic beings are around and about a lot and this is the time of year one shouldn’t walk around alone close to bogs, forests or other isolated areas. There are rules one must follow if one for instance don’t want a visit from Lusse, an evil female being. It’s very important to behave nice towards the gnome too since he can burn down Your home if You don’t. It is important however not to spoil him either because then he can feel that he’s too good to do any work at all and perhaps leave Your house for good.
I bought myself a plastic table Yule spruce today and it came with both decorations and lights, uncolored :-). The lights need batteries to work though so I’ll take photos of it when I remember to buy batteries 🙂 It’s actually quite nice even if it isn’t the real thing.
Have a great day!