The start of Yule.

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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 had a cold and frosty night here.

We had a cold and frosty night here.

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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.

 

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One can't see anything living but one can hear them walking around on the bog.

One can’t see anything living but one can hear them walking around on the bog.

 

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. 

 

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Some steps are heavy, some light and some can almost not be heard at all. Well it is December and it could be the beings walking home before the daylight takes over.

Some steps are heavy, some light and some can almost not be heard at all. Well it is December and it could be the beings walking home before the daylight takes over.

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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).

 

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This creek is thankfully too small for Näcken (the Water Sprite) or the Bäckahästen (the creek horse) to use to drown people in.

 

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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.

 

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The bog is a dangerous place to be at but at least most beings rest during the day.

The bog is a dangerous place to be at but at least most beings rest during the day.

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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.

 

But then again, one never knows where Skogsrået (the Forest nymph) is. She can look like a beautiful woman or like a half rotten tree stump with lots of fungus growing on her. It's a good thing to help her but  ever never ask for her help!

But then again, one never knows where Skogsrået (the Forest nymph) is. She can look like a beautiful woman or like a half rotten tree stump with lots of fungus growing on her. It’s a good thing to help her if that chance ever would occur but never ever  ask for her help!

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Have a great day!

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6 responses

  1. Hi Christer,
    Wow, such a lot of beings to tread carefully around.
    Even though the creek is too shallow for the creek horse or the other being, I’ll bet there’s still something that lives there and protects it. Besides water voles.

    Advent is probably the only Christian season I have any memory of celebrating. I sang in the choir from age 9 to age 18. The Advent carols were always favorites of mine. There was an Advent wreath in the church and each Sunday another candle would be lit. There was a big candle in the middle that was always lit. And we all knew that when the last candle was lit, Christmas was SOON! A very important consideration. 🙂

    Today was a sunny, warm day. I think it got to 60ºF. The dogs and I have been for three walks and one outing to the yard. It was lovely.
    The viola emerged relatively unscathed from its time under a couple of inches of frozen snow.

    Enjoy the day.

    December 1, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    • Hi Caryn!

      Sooo many and still I only emtioned a few 🙂 At night the light man might try to drown You in the bog, he’s a nasty one 🙂 We do have a few other water beings but I think they want either big lakes or tiny forest lakes, there is one called something like the spring nymph and she could actually live at places like this where the water starts flowing. I’m not sure she likes to drown people though 🙂

      I’ve always liked advent just because it is the beginning of christmas. I too have sung at first of advent in the church and it is a special feeling to it.

      Around 32F here both night and day and I think the day was cloudy, it was when I went t the store to buy some dinner because I forgot to order at work 🙂

      No viola in my garden, they must have given up for now.

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 2, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      • I think spring nymphs prefer that you drink from the spring and fall hopelessly in love with them to the point that you waste away because you don’t eat. Either that or they prefer that you drink from the spring and fall hopelessly in love with the first creature you see and the subsequent activities provide everyone with some interesting entertainment. 🙂

        December 2, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      • I’ve just checked that and no, they really didn’t care about humans in that way. If one showed respect towards them and the spring one could get good luck or become healthy by drinking the water, if not they could make you sick 🙂 They could also show You the future if they so wanted. I think the things You write about were from similar beings but from further south of Sweden.

        December 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm

  2. Dianna

    Hi Christer! Great post today! Your country is incredibly full of folklore! I love it! 🙂 We have colored lights on our house outside and when the tree goes up (this coming weekend) there will be colored lights too. But truth be told, I really like just the plain white lights. Something very still and perfect about them. Especially when its lit against fresh snow, rather lovely! The frosty pictures are fantastic! We are currently blowing and blusterty out – not a nice night. So I sit with my magic bag keeping me warm, one cat on my left and soon I shall knit for a wee while. It might just be me, but I see a small face in that first tree fungus! 🙂 Have a happy Tuesday!

    December 2, 2014 at 1:28 am

    • Hi Dianna!

      We do have lots of it but young people don’t know much about it any longer. Too bad, I love those old stories, especially those with trolls in them 🙂 Our trolls are usually not evil and look very much like us humans but with a long tail. The Mountain trolls though are different, they are big, shrewd and ugly and with long tails 🙂

      I don’t know why colored lights never got big here, perhaps they were too expensive back in the days? This year I have white lights just because they followed the tree 🙂 it is so practical that they go on battery too!

      Too little frost thgough, I think that if we must have it let it at least be lots of it 🙂 No wind today and around 0 all day.

      It might be the face of that nymph You’re seeing 🙂

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm

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