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Light decorations before Christmas in Sweden

Discussion in 'Community Message Board' started by Funnel, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Funnel

    Funnel Sweden Unleased - Special Contributor

    As promised here are some photos from the Christmas light decorations (often called Advent decorations over here) I have made today.
    Let's start outside in the garden.
    Rather common is a spruce with lights in. Traditionally there have only been 16 lights in the outdoor spruce. Nowdays some will have more lights but I stick to 16, so far. Here is my spruce.


    As you can see it's rather sparse as it is a "regular" spruce from the forest. You can by specially grown trees that are much more dense but as I have a forest of my own I usually takes my spruce from there (maybe I have to start grow more dense spruces...).

    Here are some of the other lights outside. First at the front porch, a simple line of lights (again 16 of them).


    Here are some at my back porch. Same type of lights as the front porch.


    And here are some more lights (light tube) at the back porch.


    That's all my outdoor lights. If I add some more my neighbours will think I'm crazy or have some American roots... :biggrin:

    In the windows we usually have what we call "Advent lights". About 20 years ago they always looked like this:


    Still it's the most common lights but there are some others, like this one.


    The "base" is the same (same shape of the lights and 7 of them).

    Nowdays it's rather common to have lights like this too:


    As you can see all my lights are white. Most common here are white lights, but blue and red are starting to be more common.
    There are no flashing lights in my garden, and that is not common at all over here even though some have it.
    I try to keep it rather traditional, but would not mind to have some more modern lights, especially in my windows. Maybe next year...

    I'll come back in about a month with a photo of my indoor Christmas tree (hey... there I have more than 16 lights -but still white and not flashing...).

    So... now I'm eager to see some of your decorations over there!

  2. Charles

    Charles Captain Weather

    Thank you Erik.

    Why are there only 16 lights in tree and on the porch? I can't figure out the significance of 16.


  3. Donna - dsw

    Donna - dsw Well-Known Member

    Just lovely! It looks very nice. I have not even started decorating yet.
  4. seamom

    seamom Well-Known Member

    Lovely in its simplicity. I'll be happy to post pictures this year now that I've discovered it is so much simpler. I like white in my tree too...but jammed with ornaments, the colour is plentiful. Your home looks peaceful and inviting.....and rather mild weather with those green leaved plants on the front porch?
  5. Funnel

    Funnel Sweden Unleased - Special Contributor

    I have tried to find something about that but the only explanation so far is that it is some electrical reason. I guess that was many years ago, but we still use 16 lights.
    Thinking of it, I have not seen any "light chain" with these bigger lights with more than 16 lights. If there are more than 16 lights they are usually smaller.

  6. bob

    bob Chief Engineer Staff Member

    Charles, they have less electricity in Sweden, it's a smaller country.............
  7. Beryl

    Beryl Trivia Specialist

    Oh Eric...thank you for posting your lovely photos! I love your little tree with the "football" lights! I am even more in the Christmas mood for having enjoyed the photos!
  8. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Forever Remembered

    Erik - your photos are beautiful. And Charles asked what I was about to ask - the significance of 16 lights. Matters not - I love your decorations.

    My outdoor Christmas lights are now up, put up by a friend today - but I think I shall wait awhile to take photos. There's no way I'll show mine near yours!!!!:( I use the "American" colors - multi-color......while yours are so traditionally elegant.


    These "older" Advent lights are absolutely stunning!
  9. GloBug

    GloBug Senior Flea Coller Tester

    I too like the older Advent lights. Lovely tradition. Thanks for sharing with us.
  10. Whimsy

    Whimsy Well-Known Member

    Very nice. Like Mary Ann, I don't want to share mine too close to yours. We are still in the process of putting things out. I did get a new Christmas tree this year and am anxious to get it up and decorated.
  11. Christoffer

    Christoffer The Euro Connection Special Contributor

    Nice photos.
    Still have all the lights and decoratons in the cellar, too early to to take them out.
  12. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Forever Remembered

    Oh, Erik. You are in trouble!

    I am so impressed by the 7-candle "traditional" Advent lights that you made me order two in natural wood.

  13. maw

    maw Wordsmith

    Thank you Funnel-such pretty displays. I too wondered abt the 16 lights. Paw has our outside lights all up. He has most of inside decorations up. Tree with multicolored lights really helps to get in spirit.
  14. seamom

    seamom Well-Known Member

    Curiouser and curiouser, I went on a search and found this lovely site about Christmas in Sweden. Swedish Festivals and Fun Activities for Sweden

    Two ideas not confirmed in this article for 16? The Protestant reformation in Sweden was in the 16th century and the Gregorian calendar was adopted...........and four candles on the Advent wreath are lit for each of the four Sundays in December (I think I misread this...maybe there are four candles and one is lit each of the four Sundays)? They also sell those strings of candle shaped tree bulbs in 16.

    Nothing conclusive but I will however be singing "Sixteen Candles" all day today after this search! :)
  15. Funnel

    Funnel Sweden Unleased - Special Contributor

    Oops... I have to get rid of those fake plants... :biggrin:
    It's actually 32F warmer today than the same date last year.

  16. GloBug

    GloBug Senior Flea Coller Tester

    Ok Mele Ana, I give up. I've googled every description I can think of... where did you find those lights? They are lovely!
  17. GloBug

    GloBug Senior Flea Coller Tester

    I was looking for "16" too, but I also found the references to the four candles. One for each Sunday leading up to Christmas. I am unsure through why there are 3 purple and 1 pink. Can't find that reference. Lovely tradition, fun to learn about different cultures.
  18. Funnel

    Funnel Sweden Unleased - Special Contributor

    Mary Ann, I'm glad I made you spend some money... :biggrin:
    It will look nice in your windows!
    Is it common to have Advent lights like that over there?

  19. nieciez

    nieciez Well-Known Member Community Sponsor

    Oh how lovely Erik! And count me as another who loves the wooden Advent Candelabra. And I LOVE the spruce with only 16 large bulb light string. It's great to see other traditions. I hope we will get some decorating done next weekend.
  20. Beryl

    Beryl Trivia Specialist

    An advent wreath has 4 candles. One candle is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas Day...so on the last Sunday before Christmas all four candles are lit. See more here.... The Christian Season of Advent

    I think the lights on Erik's Advent Candelabra might represent the 7 days prior to Christmas....and yes, it is beautiful!

    I loved this story of why the Swedes prefer white lights for their outdoor decorating... "Each advent the church lit seven candles in the advent tree so that in the end there were 28 burning candles in the pine or juniper tree. Between Sundays the tree was placed outdoors in the snow without any decoration other than the candles and this is probably the inspiration for the way Swedes do their decorating outdoors." You can read this and loads of info about Swedish Christmas traditions at Christmas Traditions ... but there is no mention of why the 16 lights! Perhaps it is just the way they were originally manufactured.

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