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Germany Celebrates the First of Advent

By November 28, 2009

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On Sunday, November 29, Germany celebrates the first of Advent, a beloved Christmas tradition in Germany.

Advent are the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas, and to mark this passage of time, many Germans light a new candle on their Advent wreath every Advent Sunday.

Many families celebrate the Advent Sundays with singing Christmas carols, drinking hot spiced wine, and eating Christmas cookies or a piece of Stollen, a traditional German Christmas cake.

The Advent wreath was "invented" by Johann Hinrich Wichern, a German pastor, who founded an orphanage in Hamburg in 1833.  During the weeks leading up to Christmas, the children would ask him daily if Christmas had arrived. To make the wait easier, Wichern came up with his magical Christmas countdown, creating his first Advent wreath out of an old cartwheel and small candles.

Celebrating the Season in Germany

(Photo by Birge Amondson)

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