All Saints’ Day and the beauty of candlelight
While here in the UK we have Halloween and Bonfire Night, across the sea in Scandinavia, our friends recognise a more solemn festival: All Saints’ Day.
Held in early November, All Saints’ Day is a public holiday and a day to remember loved ones who’ve passed on. Typically Scandinavian families will visit the graves of their family and friends to light candles and decorate the graves in remembrance. It’s a day for contemplation, reflection and respect – the very antithesis of the altogether more distasteful Halloween, in my opinion!
All Saints Day is always a beautiful sight to behold across Scandinavia, as hundreds of twinkling candles illuminate the darkness – by this time of year the sun sets before 4pm, and the long winter evenings that the region is so known for have truly begun to set in.
All Saints’ Day is held on a Saturday, but usually most offices and businesses will close on the Friday afternoon before, and people light special 50-hour-long burning candles so that they burn right through the weekend.
Depending on where in Scandinavia you are, you’ll hear All Saints’ Day called:
• Allehelgensdag in Danish and Norwegian
• Alla helgons dag in Swedish
• Pyhäinpäivä in Finnish
One of the most stunning places to be in Sweden on Alla helgons dag is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Skogskyrkogården (The Woodland Cemetery) in Stockholm, where thousands of people gather to remember their relatives.
And even if you can’t make it to the place where your loved ones are buried, many Swedish cemeteries have a minneslund (memory grove) where all are welcome to sit and remember those who have gone before us.
Following many customer requests, we sourced these simple white candles in a solid clear glass holder for the Nordic House shop. Designed to light in memory of a loved one – either at home or when visiting their place of rest – these are the same candles you’ll find across Scandinavia on All Saints’ Day.
Hanging memory candle, £5.50
Memory candles, from £2.50
Using candelight in winter
One of the things I love the most about Scandinavia in general is their practise of using candlelight at all times of the day and at all times of the year, too! In the winter months, when the mornings are dark, it’s perfectly normal to eat your breakfast by candlelight – a comforting, restful way to begin the day.
When we started Nordic House, we knew we wanted to bring this wonderful tradition of using candlelight to the UK, and we’re proud to offer such an extensive range of lanterns and hurricanes and candleholders. Many of our most popular products are our lanterns, and every year we bring new and beautiful additions to our collection. At the moment these beautiful smoky glass lanterns are probably my absolute favourites, but it changes all the time!
Smoky glass lanterns, from £130
And remember, outdoor lanterns aren’t just for summer – there’s nothing more welcoming to guests than an elegant tall hurricane flickering on a doorstep during the cold winter months…
Stainless steel and leather lanterns, from £49.95
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but there’s something truly magical about candlelight…
If you’d like to see more beautiful ideas for using candlelight in your home, do take a look at our Pinterest page, where I pin endless sources of inspiration on a regular basis!
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About the author
As the pioneers of the "hygge way of life" since our creation in 2009, it is fascinating to see how that philosophy has now been adopted by the mainstream UK. Our absolute passion is and always will be, to promote this philosophy in everyday life. We are great believers in the art of 'just enough' and slow living! As a privately owned, family company we are able to translate our passion and drive for beautiful interiors into everything we do, every day. Our mission is to source relaxed, artisan hand-crafted products for your home and to make your Nordic House experience the best it can be.