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Novent, a new Swedish Christmas trend

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Novent, smygstarta jul

Combine November and Advent and you have Novent, a new trend in Sweden that I would like to soon conquer the rest of the world! Novent means that in November you will gradually start to bring Christmas atmosphere into your home. Think of extra candles, lights,… and if you want some Christmas decorations.

November feels like the saddest month of the year. The days are getting shorter, the autumn colors are disappearing and it is still waiting for the Christmas lights in the streets. Who says we can’t enjoy the most wonderful time of the year already in november?

Smygstarta julen

I think ‘smygstarta julen‘ is one of the nicest phrases in Swedish. Sometimes you also read ‘att tjuvstarta julen‘ It means as much as secretly starting Christmas. Looking forward to something is often half the experience. Once we have switched to winter time, I want to make it extra cozy at home. I’m really counting the days till Christmas. For the Christmas fun, but also because the days after that are gradually starting to get longer.

What is novent to me?

Celebrating Novent makes the darkest, grayest month of the year just that little bit more pleasant. For me, Novent means that I light some candles more often, that I take the time to bake some more (a house that smells like pepparkakor is Christmas at its best!), that I take out my Christmas mugs,… During November I also put the Christmas playlist on and I might watch a Christmas movie. It even itches to craft some Christmas decorations! And oh, julmust is really part of it for me. Cozy Christmas without it all becoming too ‘Christmassy’.

During the holidays we often have a lot of ‘obligations’. As fun as these are, the days fly by with family visits and Christmas dinners. You wouldn’t be the first to feel ‘Christmas stress’! Nothing has to be done during novent and maybe that is why it is becoming so popular. You can just enjoy it.

The tip for a perfect novent for me is dosage. Keep it subtle. Do it little by little. Dose and don’t go jingles all the way so that, even as a Christmas fan, you’re not tired of Christmas by December 24th. For me, novent is also thinking about the Christmas menu and possibly trying something in advance, thinking about gifts and buying Christmas cards. During novent you do it because you want to, not because you have to.

The origin of ‘novent’

It was the Swedish Olsson family who invented the word novent in 2014. They counted 3 extra Sundays before the start of Advent. Week 4 of Novent is celebrated together with the beginning of Advent. It was a way for them to enjoy Christmas longer. In the meantime, novent has also been recognized as a new Swedish word.

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Novent
15 November 2021
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Swedish christmas cards ‘God jul’

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God Jul

Since it was difficult to find Swedish Christmas cards (in Swedish: julkort) with ‘God Jul’ on them in the shops outside of Sweden, I started designing myself.
Below you will find a few examples. The good news: you can also order these yourself! Click on the photo and you will be taken to the Zazzle website where you can order my designs. Everything will then be delivered to your home.

P.S. There regularly have promotions at Zazzle that give you an extra discount! Don’t forget to check it out.

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Swedish christmas cards

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7 November 2021
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Swedish Christmas traditions: SVT’s julkalender

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BERTIL-S-SON-ÅBERG-SVT-Julkalender

Since 1960, you can watch a special TV series broadcasted on the Swedish television channel SVT every year during the advent. SVT’s julkalender or Christmas calendar as the series is called, offers a different story every year. On the SVT website you can also view all episodes of previous years.

Tradition

The advent calendar began as part of another program, but it is now a complete program on its own that is very popular with children. An episode of SVT’s Christmas calendar takes about a quarter of an hour. The first series in 1960 was Titteliture. Some years are even released on DVD. SVT’s Christmas calendar is something that is very popular. The Swedes look forward to the announcement of the title and the cast for the coming year. For 2021 that will be ‘En hederlig jul med Knyckertz‘.

The broadcasts start on December 1 and run until December 24, one episode every day. Each episode lasts for about 15 minutes. In Sweden you can also buy a paper advents calendar, linked to the TV series, where you can open a hatch every day.

Viewer audiences of 2 millions and more are no exception (with only 10 million Swedes, that’s really a lot), mostly children but secretly, adults are watching it too. It’s nostalgia, and Swedes like their Christmas traditions. SVT’s Christmas calendar is not the only thing around Christmas that gets half of the families in Sweden in front of the television. Their Christmas Eve each year begins with Kalle Anka.

Julkalendern on the radio

In addition to the TV series, there is also an Advent calendar on Swedish radio every year. You can listen to it here.

Here you learn more about Swedish Christmas traditions.

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SVT's Julkalender 
Foto: BERTIL S-SON ÅBERG /SVT
7 November 2021
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