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Ho Ho Ho !
This is my attempt to make a Christmas card on the Internet from me to all of you with first priority to the Danish Christmas and its customs and traditions.
A Jumping Pixie (Jumping Jack) is a wood- or pasteboard figure which flings it's arms and legs about when you pull in a string. The Jumping Pixie is normally hang from a nail on the wall.
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Advent: Four weeks preceding Christmas.
The English word "Advent" comes from "ad" + "ven/t" from Latin "adventus" - "a coming to" from "ad" - "to" + "ventus" form of "venire" - "to come".
The Danish word "advent (Advent)" comes from "ad" + "ven/t" from Latin "adventus" - "komme, ankomst (a coming to, arrival)" from "ad" - "til (to)" + "ventus" form of "venire" - "komme (to come)".
Advent means in Latin "Adventus Domini", that is "the Lord's Coming". The Lord, who is being referred to is of course Jesus Christ (Our Saviour).
In the Christian calendar Advent is the preparatory season for Christmas, including the four Sundays preceding December 25, beginning with the Sunday that falls nearest (before or after) November 30 (St. Andrew's Day; Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland) and continuing until the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas (December 25); First Sunday in Advent is considered the beginning of the church year. If Christmas Eve, December 24, falls on a Sunday, that day is also the 4th Sunday in Advent.
An Advent wreath bears four candles, one of which is lighted every Sunday until the Sunday before Christmas, that is first Sunday in Advent one candle is lighted, second Sunday lights both the first and a new candle and so on. At the Sunday before Christmas all 4 candles are lighted. Often gathers the family round the Advent wreath and they sings a couple of hymns and enjoys themselves when the candles are lighted.
The Danish hymn writer Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig (September 8, 1783 - September 2, 1872) wrote (1849) the two hymns "Vær velkommen, Herrens år (We welcome our Lord's new year)" with music (1852) by the Danish composer Andreas Peter Berggren (March 2, 1801 - November 8, 1880), of which the one (Advent) version is almost an official proclamation of the new church year in Denmark and the second (New Year) version is for use at the calendar year's new year.
The English word "Christmas" comes from the Old English term "Cristes maesse", meaning "Christ's mass". This was the name for the festival service of worship held on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
The word "X-mas" or "Xmas" is partly a Christmas brew and partly an English-American abbreviation of "Christmas".
The Danish word "jul (Christmas)" comes from common Germanic [reconstructed form] "jexwula" - "jul (Christmas)" possibly resulted from a crossing of [reconstructed form] "xwexwula" - "hjul (wheel)" and [reconstructed form] "jêra" - "år (year)"; original "årets hjul, årets kreds (the wheel of the year, the cycle of the year)".
Christmas: Christian religious holiday, observed throughout the Western world on December 25 and traditionally marked by feasting and gift-giving. In the Christian church, it is the day on which the birth of Jesus is celebrated, although the actual birth date is unknown. Many of the day's customs have a non-Christian origin and were adapted from celebrations of the winter solstice. The choice of a date near the winter solstice owed much to the missionary desire to facilitate conversion of members of older religions, which traditionally held festivals at that time of year.
post card or postcard: Also called picture post card or just card; a small, commercially printed card on cardboard generally in rectangular shape, usually having a picture on one side, to which a postage stamp must be attached for mailing and normally posted without an envelope. "Christmas card" and "New Year card" are examples of seasonal postcards.
Christmas card: A printed and often decorated card (postcard) for mailing at Christmas to express good wishes. Nowadays in Denmark a greeting sent with a Christmas card normally covers both a Christmas greeting and a New Year greeting.
New Year card: A printed and often decorated card (postcard) for mailing at New Year to express good wishes. Nowadays in Denmark a New Year greeting sent with a New Year card normally is replaced by the greeting sent with a Christmas card.
Over the centuries a significant number of customs and traditional observances have emerged to make the Christmas season one of the most colourful and festive times of the year. Probably the most universal custom is gift giving, frequently associated with the person of Santa Claus.
Other customs have to do
Many of the Danish Christmas traditions has often been borrowed from Sweden and Germany, quickly adopted as the Danes own traditions and given their own Danish colour. The Christmas tree, a introduction of comparatively recent date from Denmark's neighbour to the south, that was slow to gain a secure place in Danish homes, was often decorated with strings of little Danish flags, red and white Christmas elves and dozens of candles. In fact in Scandinavia Christmas is a festival of light.
Since ancient times, when Christmas was a pagan feast linked to midwinter (winter solstice), the Scandinavians have, in contrast to the Anglo-Saxons and southern Europeans, celebrated on Christmas Eve, December 24.
For the sake of completeness it should be stated that when the Danes dance around the tree, more than a few have to resort to song sheets with the most popular carols, which can either be bought at the local bookshop or which often come free with packs of Christmas lights. Unlike the children of old days, few have the verses drilled into them at school and remember them when they grow up. But the Danes do sing.
People who live in the cold winter climates of North America and Europe, including Denmark, look forward to a "white Christmas", because snow is one of the features associated with the holiday season. Usually it requires a specified quantity of settled snow in the respective countries before it officially can be declared as a "white Christmas". But Christmas is also celebrated in South America, Australia, and New Zealand places where it is summer at Christmastime and also places with year-round warm climates.
The first Christmas tree in Copenhagen was lit in 1811 in the Danish National Liberal politician Orla Lehmann's (May 19, 1810 - September 13, 1870) childhood home. But on a Zealand manor they have been earlier, for already three years before there was Christmas tree at Holsteinborg situated South East for the town of Skælskør.
In Denmark the children traditionally do not receive gifts on December 25 but with the celebration, which take place in the evening of December 24, Christmas Eve, the day before Christmas. Many people in Denmark go to church on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, December 24.
Christmas Day, December 25, and also the following day December 26 are often a time for receiving guests at home.
Nowadays in Denmark it is said that the Christmas is the time, which is spent with the family and the New Year is the time for the friends.
The English word "Solstice" comes from Latin "sõlstitium" equivalent to "sol" - "sun" + "stitium" - "to stand still".
The Danish word "solhverv (Solstice)" comes from "sol (sun)" + "hverv (rotation)" [in the original meaning "omdrejning (rotation)"] from a pan-Scandinavian word equivalent to Old Icelandic "sólhvarf" original "solvending (sun rotation)".
Solstice: Either of the days on which the Sun is farthest north or south of the celestial equator each year, and where the day is longest, respectively shortest. At the northerly celestial globe the summer solstice occurs, when the Sun is farthest north, and occurs June 21 or June 22; the winter solstice occurs December 21 or December 22.
None in Denmark nowadays.
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Postcard (Christmas card)
Valentine's Day card
Don't miss my Valentine's Day page including among other things a Countdown to Valentine's Day and notes about Valentine's Day with first priority to the Danish Valentine's Day and its customs and traditions.
Vacation (Holiday) card
Don't miss my Vacation (Holiday) page including among other things notes about vacation (holiday) with first priority to the Danish vacation (holiday) and its customs and traditions.
Don't miss my Halloween page including among other things a Countdown to Halloween and notes about Halloween with first priority to the Danish Halloween and its customs and traditions.
New Year card
Don't miss my New Year Page including among other things a Countdown to New Year and notes about New Year with first priority to the Danish New Year and its customs and traditions.