Wednesday, December 22, 2010
CHRISTMAS IN GERMANY!! YA!!
Christmas begins early in Germany with the season of advent. Starting 4 weeks before the big day, a wreath made of fir tree branches, or holly or other greens, is laid on a table. There are 4 candles placed around the wreath and one is lit each Sunday of Advent. A little bit about Advent, since it is an important part of the season. It begins on the 4th Sunday before Christmas Day, the Sunday nearest November 30th, and ends on Christmas Eve. If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the 4th Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time of fasting and prayer, leading up to the Christmas Eve feast. There is a special tradition for children during Advent, too. It is the Advent calender. It is made up of 24 windows, one to be opened each day of Advent. In most of the Advent calendars, there is a picture to be revealed each day, but the more elaborate ones can hide little presents or candy treats.
The market places throughout Germany turn into Wonderlands. The entire area is decorated with lights and trees, the stalls sell all kinds of merchandise and there is the smell of fresh baked gingerbread mixed with the smells of the delicious sausage and other treats. It really gets you in the Christmas mood and the children are excited at the thought of the events to come.