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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- “Holidays in Sweden” Series at SwedishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Swedish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 7, Advent. In Swedish, it’s called Advent.
Advent is celebrated on the four Sundays before Christmas, and lasts all the way through to Christmas Eve. Advent is a Christian celebration.
In this lesson you will learn about why we celebrate Advent, and what it involves.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
Do you know what the word Advent means, and where the word comes from?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
For Christian churches, Advent introduces the preparation for the arrival of Christ, or Kristus. A long time ago when Sweden was a Christian country, Advent was more of a fasting period that went on for four weeks. Advent was also associated with calmness, so weddings were forbidden during this time. People also avoided making a lot of noise and loud work duties.
Advent, as we celebrate it today, got its character during the late 1800s. Advent candelabras, or adventstakar, were also introduced in Sweden during the late 1800s. An Advent candelabra has four candles, and you light a candle for each Advent Sunday as a form of a countdown to Christmas. The Advent Star, or adventstjärnor, which is a big shining star that people hang up in their windows, was introduced in Sweden in the 1930s. The Advent Star symbolizes the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men to find baby Jesus.
The Advent Calendar, or Adventkalender, came to Sweden from Germany, and it is a sheet of paper with 24 paper doors on it that count down the days before Christmas. You open a door every day, and behind the door you can find a funny picture or something else. There is also another calendar which is especially popular since it contains chocolate behind each door. It's called a Chocolate Calendar, or chokladkalender.
Swedish television has its own Advent calendar show called Julkalendern, and it comes both in the format of a paper calendar and a TV show. It airs one episode every day up until Christmas Eve, and every year a different program is shown.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question.
Do you know what the word Advent means and where the word comes from?
The word Advent comes from the Latin word Adventus, and it means ”arrival”. Many people believe that Advent means waiting, probably because the word Advent and the Swedish word for anticipation, or förväntan, are quite similar, and that they are waiting for Jesus, but this is wrong.
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you light a candle each Advent?
Leave us a comment letting us know at SwedishPod101.com. And we'll see you in the next lesson!