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As all you people know – and might have experienced – end November in Sweden is dark, depressingly dark. Snow is a blessing, since it kind of makes things lighter and brighter (and it’s loads of fun of course) but come this weekend, this awful darkness is about to get a kick in the butt. Right this moment and throughout the whole weekend, windows all over Sweden are getting a drastic makeover. Candles, stars, electrical candlesticks (Adventsljustake/Adventsljusstakar), fairy lights – Sweden are counting down to Christmas and welcome Advent with open arms!
Advent candles are lit all over the globe this weekend, but since we are desperately in need of more than one light, a clever man named Oskar Andersson invented the world’s first electrical candlestick in 1934. These has been custom in every Swedish home (who celebrate Christmas) ever since and by tonight, you will see them everywhere! They consist of seven electrical candles, normally put together in a pyramid shape, and can be made of wood or plastic. The designs nowadays are completely varied and there’s a electrical candle stick for every taste. And wallet – you can spend an absolute fortune on one if you feel the need to.
But no Advent window is complete without an Advent star, a hanging star made from paper, straw or chip wood with a lightbulb inside. These stars also found its way to Sweden in the 1930s, recalling the star that guided the Three Wise Men. If you are going for the full look for your window, you might add a traditional Advent candlestick with four “real” candles and a few Hellebore/Christmas roses for some colour. And voila! There you have it, a Swedish Advent window, ready to fight the darkness!
Since I’m true Swede to the heart, I’ve dragged my electrical candlestick and Advent star to England and our two front windows are now Swedified.
Have you decorated your window for Advent? Feel like sharing it with fellow Sweden lovers? Take a picture of it and email it to me on firstname.lastname@example.org – and I will happily upload them on the blog, in an Advent gallery.