Monday, November 29, 2010

Advenio advenire adveni adventum [verb, lat.] - to arrive [eng.]

I think there are Christmas-nations and there are Easter-nations and the base of this statement is purely geographic. Let me explain. I think nothing can be compared to celebrating Christmas in a place where everything is dark, the snow reaches till our knees, people are wearing their warmest søndagstøy (Sunday clothes) and Christmas carol can be heard everywhere... No wonder that many people think that the world's most beautiful Christmas is in the Erzgebirge in Germany (which is also the place of origin of the tradition of the Christmas tree).
On the other hand celebrating Easter in a warmer place where the beautiful spring nature is already colourful and full of life, flowers are slowly opening up... I think it adds to message of Easter.

Ok, in one word: I am in Norway (which I think is a definite Christmas place) and Advent is here! The city lights have been turned on and the juletre (Christmas tree) of Kristiansand is also standing on the main square.

The main square of Kristiansand with our little Christmas market and a beautiful tree from the forests of Norway

The adventskrans (Advent wreath) is very important in Norway, regardless of whether people go to church or not. Purple (as the colour of confession) is a very common colour for the candles also in Norway. The most known Advent poem is without any doubt Adventslysene (Advent lights) written by poet Inger Hagerup that you can often hear on the TV, in schools etc... Each Sunday has its own stanza, this is the one for the first light. (Since I haven't found the English translation, I will try to to it myself.)

Så tenner vi et lys i kveld
vi tenner det for glede.
Det står og skinner for seg selv
og oss som er tilstede.
Så tenner vi et lys i kveld,
vi tenner det for glede.

We light a candle tonight
We light it for the happiness
It stands there and lights for itself
and for us who are there
We light a candle tonight
We light it for the happiness...

Inger Hagerup
To be continued...

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