December 1

Today calendar candles will be lit in many Danish homes, 24 days before the big celebration, Christmas eve. The big challenge is to remember only to burn a little every day.

Candles with print were sold for the first time in 1942, before that time, people used to draw lines on a white candle, – or light a little candle every day. When I was at school, back in the stoneage, the teacher used to draw 24 candles on the blackboard – and then lit one every day.
I don´t know what started this tradition, but it seems that the advent calender was “invented” at the same period, with the same purpose: to count down the days. My guess is that is was a parent tired of answering the childrens question about how many days were left before Christmas eve.

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13 comments so far

  1. drusillah on

    Nice! 🙂 Calendar candles, innovative!

    • Giiid on

      Hi Drusillah. Nice to see your comment. Sure, the calender candle is very cosy.

  2. TheDailyClick on

    ♥ I just love this tradition!
    We picked up Advent Calendars (with the chocolate) again for the girls, and they’ve really been looking forward to opening the first door.

    • Giiid on

      It is very nice, and the calenders are too. I should go and by one for myself…

  3. milkayphoto on

    Can you explain more about this Danish tradition? What is the significance?

    • Giiid on

      Tracy, that was a good question 🙂 I have posted my answer at the front, even it is an answer written especially for you 😉

      Candles with print were sold for the first time in 1942, before that time, people used to draw lines on a white candle, – or light a little candle every day. When I was at school, back in the stoneage, the teacher used to draw 24 candles on the blackboard – and then lit one every day.
      I don´t know what started this tradition, but it seems that the advent calender was “invented” at the same period, with the same purpose: to count down the days. My guess is that is was a parent tired of answering the childrens question about how many days were left before Christmas.

      • milkayphoto on

        Thank you! I like the ‘chalkboard’ candle idea – how fun for students AND teacher!

        A wonderful holiday tradtion…thank you for explaining! I bet you are correct in that it helps impatient children count down the days!

  4. Reggie on

    This is such a lovely tradition! I learn forward to learning more about how you celebrate Christmas in Denmark, Birgitte. 🙂

    • Giiid on

      Reggie, I´ll write a little about traditions every day, until Christmas eve. I am glad to know you will be reading it. Hopefully I can find something that will be interesting for you.

  5. kiwidutch on

    What a beautiful tradition… I’d like one whole candle per day though, brilliantly romantic. … and of not that, how about one of those giant 1 meter long candles you can get? Do they have those in Denmark too?

    • Giiid on

      The only place I have seen the giant candles are in the church, or outside, it is not common in a ordinary house. A very common candle is the little “Fyrfadslys” tealight, they are used to make a cozy ambience – but – the air gets a little polluted and not healthy to breath in the long run.

      A Danish site selling candles:
      http://www.candleworld.dk/soeg.asp?what=quick&hojdeid=8

  6. Gerry on

    We used to make Advent wreaths, or logs decorated with greens, with just four candles. I hadn’t thought of those in years. I think the idea was to light a candle at the beginning of each week of Advent. I’ll bet we forgot by the third week. Or lit them all at once at the beginning, in an extravagant enthusiasm. Or the cats knocked the wreath on the floor, or somebody spilled milk on it, or . . . what can I say. We have never been very good at orthodox observations of traditions in my family unless food was involved. Candy Advent calendars were perfect.

    • Giiid on

      Of course you had a advent wreath, having Swedish roots! Every respectable home has one. I shall see to make a post about this, as soon as I find one I can take pictures of….there ought to be some respectable homes among my friends and family.


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