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Advent Wreath And Calendars Have Deep German Roots

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Through the ages, the history and possible the actually origin of the Advent Season and the advent wreath has been hard to pinpoint but Germany seems to always come into the discussion as a country that shaped Advent and the practice of using an advent wreath.


The Germans even more than the Advent wreath are attributed with the advent calendar. Each child on the first day of Advent receives an Advent calendar as their first gift of the Christmas season. This is used in conjunction with the Advent wreath. Each day has a scriptural reading that can be read during the even lighting of the Advent candles.  The Germans specifies Advent starting as the first Sunday after November 26th.


Advent Calendars can be hung in each childs room as a way to help them focus on Christ and Christmas. Each advent calendar has pictures of the Christmas story on them and oven have small little doors that can be opened daily to reveal the a a scripture reading or in some cases a picture of the event surrounding the birth of Christ or salvation history.

The days are often numbered so you know how many days until Christmas.


The pictures are often printed on a transparent paper. Some parents hand make the calendars so that they can put things their children likes. For example, things like a candle, or a snowman or other things that will remind the child about Christmas or the Christmas season.


The Advent wreath is also important to the German Family. The Advent wreath is often made form evergreen twigs or garland. There are four advent candles  mounted in the evergreen one for each week of advent. The four candles are lit adding one more to the previous week until all four candles are lit. In some houses, or shops the Advent wreaths are hug from the ceilings. Churches also do that as well. Often these wreaths have large red ribbons on them. Or to add opulence, the Germans intermingle the red and purple ribbons giving the wreath  an added appeal.


The advent wreath although not attributed to Germany is synonymous Germany. The year it arrived is unknown but it is widely accepted that it did not co-inside with Christmas initially. It is thought that when the pagans became Christian that they incorporated the use of the wreath. The original Advent was a 40 day period of fasting that started in Mid November, however this also was not attributed to Germans but more Constantine when he converted and started incorporating the pagan ritual into the Catholic church to make it more appealing to the pagan.


When looking at Advent in Germany it must be noted that German was the leader in Advent Calendars and made some of the most sought after calendars in the world and they were a leader making the most ornate calendars, dating back to the 1850s. In the 1900s the advent calendar was even put in the newspapers so that everyone had an advent calendar. However with the rise of Nazi Germany the custom was forbidden and subsequently died and was reinvented in a more commercial form.


Germany has a long history with advent, the advent calendar and the advent wreath.


This article was published on Wednesday 06 August, 2008.

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