Lichen hunting 地衣類ハンティング

DSC_2805DSC_2818That almost all countries where Christmas is celebrated have their own strange traditions goes without saying. But how many of them include going to the forest hunting for lichen? Well, a Swedish one do. So, last weekend my sisters and I hit the forest to search for and pick lichen. The weather was great and the afternoon sun made the forest look really beautiful.
クリスマスを祝いする国のほとんどは其々の変なクリスマス習慣があるんだろう。でも、その中、どれが地衣類関係なの?スウェーデンのだよ!ということで、先週末お姉さん達と森に地衣類を探しに行った。晴れのきれいな天気で森はとても美しかった!    DSC_2812DSC_2815DSC_2809DSC_2822DSC_2804You can’t use just use any lichen. It has to be raindeer lichen (yes it’s actually called that way). But just any raindeer lichen isn’t ok. It even has to be the specific version called window lichen – which looks like cute fluffy hills!
DSC_2828DSC_2823DSC_2827So, what do we use this lichen for? Actually, we put it in a special candle holder with 4 candles, one for each of the four Sundays before Christmas. First week you light one candle, second week you light the first plus the second candle and so on. It’s a tradition which has been around forever and I can’t imagine Christmas without it really. When you light the first candle, you really get the Christmas feeling coming =)

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