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On Sunday it is the first of four advent Sundays – is your wreath ready?

If you are new to this Christmas tradition find here a few tips on how to take part by either buying one or making your own.

By Bente D. Knudsen

An important tradition in Danish families is the celebration of the four Sundays before Christmas with the lighting of one of the four candles on the advents krans, the advent wreath.

One candle is lit on the first one, adding one more candle each Sunday, until all four candles are lit on the last one. This is not only a Danish tradition, but very much linked to the Christian church’s traditions, and imported to Denmark from Germany.

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Collect the material to make one in your garden, or buy what you need at the supermarket or garden centre.

They can be simple to make, often by buying the ready-made fir or straw wreath, and simply adding candles and any other personal decoration to it.

Others opt for a simple one – with four candles on a large dish together with cones, fir, moss, or small red apples.

The design of the advent wreath is undertaken by some as a major design project, and in all women’s and home decoration magazines, suggestions on this year’s design are made in their November issues.

For the busy family, it just becomes too stressful and instead they buy a four-branched candlestick.

They can be found in all shapes and price ranges, one of the more famous ones is the Georg Jensen “Advents stage” gilded with 24-carat gold. Even these can be decorated with fresh fir to make them stand out as a more personalised advent wreath.

Join in the Danish tradition and create your own hygge the next four Sundays.

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You can find inspiration in this video from flower artist Karen Kjeldsen on how to make your own. You can use fresh green leaves or “gran” (fir) instead of the pines she uses – she also gives nice tips on how to get the candles to stick to the wreath.  She prefers using pines since they do not dry out as fir and fresh green leaves to.

Advent wreaths come in many variations as this small picture gallery shows: