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Monday, November 29, 2004


The four weeks before the 25th of december. Advent is the German name for this time of year. It is Latin in origin and means the arrival. In these four weeks we prepare the arrival of christmas and with it the birth of Jesus Christ.
A decoration that has made a big impact during this time is the "Adventskranz", (a circle of twigs from the christmastree decorated with four candles). Each sunday during the advents-time you light one candle. The evening you light the last christmas is upon us.
I just learned that the aðventukrans came to Iceland over Danmark from Germany. So I checked the net and the Adventskranz started in Germany around 1930ies. The first known was in a catholoic church in Köln in 1925 and it had the typical 4 candles (red, for the blood of Jesus!).
Today they come in all shapes, colours and sizes, I have seen pink ones here in Iceland! People make them themselves or just buy them. It is a lovely tradition and I made mine with the boyfriend last night. (pictures will be added to my photoalbum to the right!)
However, each nation brings their own traditions as well. I learned yesterday that the four candles have names in Iceland. The first candle is Spádómskertið (candle of prophecy-the old testament promises the arrival of the saviour)), the second Betlehemskertið, the third Hirðakertið (sheperds candle) and the fouth Englakertið (Angels candle). I searched high and low but could not find if these candles have names in Germany.

Posted by Minka :: 1:36 pm :: 1 Royal Subjects

Link to this Royal Decree!


At 13:49, Blogger Lisa Skvísa said...

I didn't know the candles had names... that's a lovely tradition... and what pleasant religious traditions there are buried underneath all the tinsle and twinkle lights and chocolate... I have to admit there are no religious traditions in my Juletide experience... what kind of Catholic does that make me, huh? ;-)


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