Wreathes, lit with Candles

Four lighted candles, standing precariously upright on a wreath, hung from ribbons, swinging from the roof beam. 

Not a typical holiday sight but normal for me since earliest childhood.

adventwreath_webBehold a family Christmas picture, circa 1958. That’s me, kneeling.

In the cradle is my new baby sister, a newborn from mid-November. The German Shepherd’s name is Lumpy. He is still a big puppy, acquired recently to get me used to the idea of sharing my parent’s attention with another being.

Above my father’s head is a wreath, hanging from four, red ribbons and holding 4 candles.

It is an Advent Wreath and I took these for granted growing up.

So much so that I drew one in one of my earliest knock off stories, a version of Rumplestiltskin.

Trust me, that is an Advent Wreath.

Princess&Prince_web

A drawing from 1962                                                                                                  It looks a lot like this one , but ours never had 24 candles on it!

Wichern_Adventskranz_originated_from_Germany

Wichern Adventskranz originated from Germany.jpg

And my parents were not religious either. This was a custom that my dad had grown up with that he brought with him when he emigrated. Our candles were red, like most Protestants use.

advent 1

Catholic wreath with 3 purple candles and one rose candle

When I grew up and made my own home, I took the advent wreath custom with me. Here, my friend Denise lights a candle for the second Sunday in Advent. DeeAdventWreath_web

She wears the ceremonial Chinese Santa Hat to do it.

I did not grow up with Swedish Lucia Day, but the similarities to the Advent Wreath are striking, so I include  her in this round up of Wreathes, lit with Candles.

One of the prettiest images is this one by Carl Larsson, called Lucia 1908

lucia1908

SantaLucia_web

Lucia traditionally bears a tray with sweet, saffron-flavoured buns (lussekatter) shaped like curled-up cats and with raisin eyes. You eat them with glögg or coffee.

Look how sweet these contemporary Lucias are–with their LED candles!

sarahineslucia

snowmanlucia

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