Saturday, December 1

Christmas: Making a Wreath

As I have mentioned a few days ago, this Sunday is the 1st Advent Sunday. I find this german tradition quite interesting - counting the Sundays just before Christmas through the use of the Advent Candles placed on a wreath called "Adventskranz". Every Sunday a candle is lighted to commemorate the coming of Jesus "das Christkind". The fourth candle or the last one is the Sunday before Christmas. From what I heard at work (kids usually), most german families gather around the advent wreath on a Sunday afternoon, light the candle/s and sing christmas carols while drinking coffee/hot chocolate and eating delicious traditional christmas cookies. On the first Sunday a candle is lighted, on the 2nd, two candles are lighted till you reach the fourth Sunday which entitles you to light all the four candles.
According to Wikipedia and to my german teacher :) the Advent Wreath is a german tradition, it may come from the middle ages but the germans are the ones who popularized and marketed the event around the wreath. Click on this link if you want to know more about the Adventskranz or this one Christmas in Germany . However some say that the tradition of making a wreath actually comes from pre- christianity period in Northern European Countries. The Evergreens are the only plants that remain to be green even during and after the winter months. Gathering evergreens and forming them into a circhle symbolizes the continuity of the year where one season follows the next season. When the christians came they saw this pagan tradition and just integrated it into the christian tradition. Isn't that interesting? Actually there are more pagan traditions incorporated into the Christian traditions. We are not just so much aware about it.
I love Christmas in Germany, of course I love Christmas in the Philippines too. But the German Christmas is quite beautiful with the many traditions around it. I must say, I find them really interesting and beautiful indeed. I will try to write more about german traditions so you'll know what I'm talking about. So keep posted.
All these traditions have found their way among other european countries as well so nowadays it is not only unique to Germany.
Anyway so this post is actually about making a wreath and I am talking too much about Christmas. This year is my second attempt to make my own wreath. I am quite satisfied with myself. Take a look:

First you need some evergreens. I bought this ring made of straw and bonded the evergreens to it with a thin green wire.

See what I did with the picture on the left? It looks a bit weird but this is just the first stage. Just to get an idea how the base would like like I attached the first set of leaves.

And don't forget the candles of course and some small things for decoration, anything goes whatever you want for a motif. I chose red and silver for some color and some natural materials like cinnamon sticks and star anise. Of course don't forget your candle holders, you wouldn't want some fire out there. Believe me a friend of ours had a fire because of her wreath and burnt her table. Good thing only her table and the best thing happened - her insurance paid the damaged and she was able to get herself a new table.

So after the wreath is done - you can put on the candles and wait for all that four Sundays.
Now why are the candles in a circle? If I have paid real attention to the explanation at
work , the circle symbolizes Eternity, like wedding rings are. The love of God is eternal.

This is how it looks like when you are ready for coffee time and it gets a bit dark. Yup the nights are quite longer now. It starts to be dark around 4:30 p.m. this part of the globe.


eyna said...

how come we don't practice such tradition here ... tsk tsk tsk. once we moved out I'll make sure there's an advent wreath on christmas. hehe

Anonymous said...

wow!!! that's a very beautiful wreath! it helps to relive the christmas spirit... well, dito po sa atin marami parol...hehehe! well, been too very busy lately... but i really wanted to post a lot of things especially my recent travel to hongkong... hehehe, that's my first and foremost travel outside the philippines... basta, i hope to post a beautiful entry on that thing!
lapit na xmas... and i wish you and your hubby a very warm christmas! thanks a lot!!!!!

jenny said...

dear toni,

that's me on the anonymous...hehehe!


Toni said...

hi jenny and eyna,
thanks for the visit. yup a christmas wreath adds a lot to the christmas ambiance - it makes drinking coffee and eating christmas cookies too more christmassy.

RennyBA said...

What a great, wonderful and readable post about Christmas spirit and the anticipation for the Holiday. We have Adventskranz in our house too and lit one candle for each week before Christmas.

What a coincidence that you have written about traditions in this advent time, as I have done the same :-)

Wishing you a wonderful end to your week!

Gattina said...

Hehe you are not the only one writing about german traditions ! Your Adventskranz looks beautiful ! I didn't do a wreath but something similar. I change it every year. When I first came here to Belgium, there were not even Christmas trees ! I remember my father running around to find a tree ! and for decorations we always had to go to Aachen. Now you find everything here too, but they way if celebrating Christmas time is really very special in Germany.

Doris said...

wow.. that's beautiful. Maybe next year I will make an advent wreath as centerpiece for our dining table. I LOVE LOVE the angel figurine in the middle.

Chateau said...

hi there!

you're so creative, ang ganda!
Am sorry i haven't been visiting too often lately. Even my blog seems abandoned.. Anyway, congrats on the new home! I look forward to you renovation documentaries hehe. :)

Merry Christmas! Hugs to you and Vlado!