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Denmark Diaries: First Advent Sunday in Sweden

Christmas market in Lund, Sweden
Christmas market in Lund, Sweden

A fortnight ago, I visited A. in Lund on the first day of Advent. A. studied together with me in Konstanz and then decided to do his entire Master’s degree in Sweden. And because Lund is only an hour’s train journey from Copenhagen, I travelled across the Øresund to visit him again on the last weekend in November.

The day was cold, even colder than the days before. The Swedish wind whistled through even the gloves and every minute of warming up indoors was very welcome. In Sweden, the first day of Advent is traditionally the day of Lucia’s coronation. Although the Lucia festival is not until 13 December (so this article is very topical!), Lucias parade through kindergartens and old people’s homes in Sweden two weeks beforehand, much like St Nicholas in Germany.

We then moved on to the Christmas market, drank glögg and I became fascinated by the Lions Club auction, where winter hats and lampshades changed hands. Afterwards, A. showed me the university’s design Christmas market, where design students offered sometimes more, sometimes less useful things and an indie band played Christmas carols in the background.

A. has been in Lund for a year and a half, told lots of stories and knew a lot about the city and the country. We moved on to the Christmas market in the open-air museum, which we only see from the outside. Afterwards, we went to a cosy café and talked about university and life.

There’s a Danish word that perfectly describes the cosy atmosphere of this Sunday trip to Sweden: hygge.