The “Adventskranz” is one of the classic German Christmas traditions that heightens our Christmas spirit. The wreath is usually made out of fir sprigs with four candles. It either hangs from the ceiling or sits on the table.

What is the history behind the “Adventskranz”?

Pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881) invented the “Adventskranz” for the children in the Diaconal educational institution he worked at.

In order to make the waiting time for Christmas more bearable for them, he created the Advent wreath that guided the children to Christmas.

It began as a wooden wreath only decorated with fir sprigs.  Originally it had 19 small candles and four large ones placed on top of it. The large ones would only be lit on Advent Sunday.

Apart from this, the advent wreath is also symbolic for the Christian anticipation for Christmas.

The four candles on the wreath symbolize the four advent Sundays before Christmas.

On the first Advent Sunday, you light the first candle. On the following Sunday you light the next candle, until all candles are burning on the last Sunday before Christmas.

Many families sit by their advent wreaths, and enjoy Christmas sweets and some even sing festive songs.

The Johannes congregation has prepared two sizes of Advent wreaths for this year’s Christmas market. Both are set on a floral oasis in a plastic ring. It is sturdy and if watered regularly it will last for 4 weeks until Christmas.