Advent in Norway

The word “Advent” comes from the Latin “Adventus” which means “(Lord’s) arrival”. Since late 400 AD, Advent has been used as a name for the waiting period leading up to Christmas.

Today we associate the word with Christmas preparations.

The first Sunday of Advent, marks the beginning of the Christian church year, and it always falls between November 27 and December 3.

Advent lasts from this first Sunday until Christmas night – the night of 25 December.

 

Advent Lights

We usually refer to the Sundays during this period for the first, second, third and fourth Sunday of Advent.

It is an old Norwegian tradition to mark this time by lighting candles every Sunday. The Advent candlestick has four candles, and you light one candle the first Sunday, two the second Sunday and so on.

While lighting the candles, it is common to sing a corresponding verse from one of the two songs below.

ADVENT

(mel: Jeg folder mine hender små)

Advent in Norway | Online Norwegian ClassesNå tenner vi det første lys,
alene må det stå.
Vi venter på det lille barn,
som i en krybbe lå.

Nå tenner vi det andre lys,
da kan vi bedre se.
Vi venter på at Gud, vår Far;
vil gi sin sønn hit ned.

Nå tenner vi det tredje lys,
det er et hellig tall.
Vi venter på at kongen vår
skal fødes i en stall.

Nå tenner vi det fjerde lys,
og natten blir til dag.
Vi venter på en Frelsermann
for alle folkeslag.

 

ADVENT

av: Inger Hagerup

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

Så tenner vi to lys i kveld, to lys for håp og glede
De står og skinner for seg selv og oss som er tilstede
Så tenner vi to lys i kveld, to lys for håp og glede

Så tenner vi tre lys i kveld, for lengsel, håp og glede
De står og skinner for seg selv og oss som er tilstede
Så tenner vi tre lys i kveld for lengsel, håp og glede

Vi tenner fire lys i kveld og lar dem brenne ned
For lengsel, glede, håp og fred, men mest allikevel for fred
på denne lille jord, hvor menneskene bor

 

The Advent candles are usually purple. On Christmas Eve the Advent candlestick is usually placed on dining table during the traditional Christmas dinner. All four candles will be lit, and as they burn down, they are often replaced by candles in a different colour, often red.

Many Norwegian homes will also have an Advent star that they put up in the window. It is often a star with seven points.

Being so close to the Arctic Circle, Advent leads into the darkest part of winter in Norway. No wonder Norwegians like to break the winter darkness by lights in the streets, on living room tables, in windows and on advent wreaths!

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