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A German Christmas
German Advent Calendar: Fact of the Day

23. Dezember

The Advent Wreath - Der Adventskranz

Ein Adventskranz - Larger View
FOTO: AP Goldmann

Der Adventskranz, the Advent wreath, is one of the most widespread Christmas customs in German-speaking Europe. As we mentioned in Der Adventskalender, Advent is the four-week period leading up to Christmas. For Catholics and Protestants the Advent season begins on the first Sunday after November 26. On each of the four Advent Sundays leading up to Christmas, a new candle (die Kerze) is added to the Advent wreath. Advent wreaths come in many versions (pine, wood, plastic, metal, etc.), but they are always round and feature four (sometimes five) Advent candles.

In some families each Advent Sunday is devoted to lighting a new candle, singing some carols, and reading verses from the Bible. Although the Advent wreath is a very Christian tradition, its origins go back to pagan, pre-Christian times. In the photo you can see that the wreath is now in the fourth week of Advent, with all four candles burning. - See a larger view of the photo.

MORE > The Advent Wreath (from About's Christianity/Catholicism Guide)

WEB > German Way - Advent

BACK > Adventskalender

MORE > A German Christmas Guide

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