Hi, there, my dear friends and happy 1st Advent to you. It is official! Countdown to Christmas has started – only 25 days till we can all enjoy Christmas celebration! As you understood, today I would like to tell you more about the Advent in Germany, what it actually is and traditions surrounding it. So, what is Advent?
Advent is a religious celebration, the special time of the year during which the preparation for the arrival, or “advent”, of Christ take place, which is then celebrated on 25th December. Advent usually starts four weeks before Christmas, to be more precise, four Sundays till Christmas. And today, on 29th November we are celebrating the 1st Advent. So, what do people usually do during Advent time in Germany? Well, there are many traditions surrounding this period including Advent wreath, Advent calendar, setting up a Christmas tree and general preparations for Christmas. Ohhh, and let’s not forget that around this season the Christmas Markets usually start (well, except this year unfortunately).
Lightning Advent wreath is one is one of the multiple traditions during Advent season. It consists out of fours candle – for each Sunday of the Advent and some beautiful decorations around it. So, today we should be lighting the 1st candle in our Advent wreath. There are many shops and florists in Germany, which sell ready made Advent wreaths, but I personally prefer to decorate my own Advent wreath.
Advent calendar is yet another great tradition happening during Christmas season, personally one of my favorite. But Advent calendar is not just an ordinary calendar, but a 25-days calendar filled with presents for every day of Advent (usually chocolates or sweats, but can also be any small presents). Advent calendars are sold everywhere in Germany. Usually the tradition is to give them on the 1st Advent and open each present a day. So, typically they are carton boxes with 25 small windows which you open every day and enjoy a gift. They are extremely popular among children, but adult enjoy them too. And, besides, who told that adults don’t like chocolate? Anyway, as with Advent wreath, you can either buy ready Advent calendar from the store or create your own personalized one, which is so cool, because nowadays stores are also selling those cute little bags with numbers on them for each day of the Advent. And all is left for you is to fill them with small presents.
Another tradition during Advent season is Christmas market, usually starts just couple of days before 1st Advent and continues up to one or two day before the Christmas day. Christmas market, by the way, originates from Germany, but nowadays is happening in many other countries. Everywhere you can see brightly decorated huts selling typical Christmas foods, hot cacao and Glühwein, and so much more. When I first arrived to Germany, I was literally mesmerized by all those beautiful lights! Breathtaking. Below you can see gallery with pictures from the Christmas markets I have attended including Bonn and Cologne ones.
And yet there is so much more traditions surrounding Christmas, but we will talk about them in a dedicated Christmas blog post. And what other Advent traditions in Germany do you know? Comment and share your favorite!