Monday, October 19, 2009

Advent Wreath And Calendars Have Deep German Roots

The advent wreath has an almost mysterious background because its origins cannot be pinpointed. In almost all accounts Germany seems to have played a large part in its genesis. It would seem no matter how unusual this seems German seems to be the first countries to formalize the use of that advent wreath.

Maybe more than the advent wreath, the advent calendar is even more associated with Germany. The premise of an advent calendar is that each day the child will open a door or a slot and reveal candy or a Bible story. This is often the first gift the child will receive. It was an inventive way to count down to Christmas as well as review the Old Testament. Advent will always start as the first Sunday after November 26th and this practice was also attributed to the Germans.

Some parents hang the Advent Calendar in the child room to help counter the commercialism of Christmas. Some advent rituals are done during dinner time like the lighting of the Advent wreath. And some are done at bedtime like the opening of the Advent calendar.

Looking at all of Germany and Advent, historically they not only invented the advent calendar but they made the best in the world. From the 1850s forward, they were well known for them. Nazi Germany, although early on used the advent calendar and even distributed it in the newspaper, did outlaw them causing them to die out and not reemerge until recently in their more commercial form.

Despite governmental restrictions, the advent wreath and the advent calendar will always be deeply rooted in Germany.

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