Advent Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt…
By Heidi Trautmann
One week before the first advent my grandmother and I went into the nearby forest and got the fir twigs for our advent wreath and we did a very big one to hang it from the ceiling on red ribbons, fixed four selfmade candles to it with wire and decorated it with nuts and fir cones.
For us children began the time full of mysteries; the air smelt of exciting things to come, never were our ears and eyes so alert to know what parents were doing behind our backs. It was time for cookies and Stollen to be baked, but locked in the cupboards until the time had come to place them on the table; We children got together and made our little presents, made our paintings and poems for our parents and were singing Christmas songs and on all Sundays we sat together and told stories, thought of those who were far away. We all made little figures from chestnuts and matchsticks and pictures from dried peas and beans while grandmother was telling stories from her young years in Eastern Prussia where she had a carriage and two white horses.
Advent – advenire, the Latin word for to arrive; the four weeks before Christmas are the waiting period for someone to come and lead us out of trouble. Humanity is always waiting for someone to come and tell us what to do when we got stuck in a deep mess.
The history of the ring or wheel of the Advent wreath of evergreens decorated with candles goes back to long before the arrival of Christianity. The circle the persistence of life in the midst of winter. Some sources suggest the wreath as a Christian symbol was in common use in the Middle Ages, others that it was established in Germany as a Christian custom only in the 16th century. Other evidence suggests that the Advent wreath was not invented until the 19th century.
Whoever is right, wreath binding is a very nice tradition and we, a group of friends have tried to keep it alive for many years now and in the last week of November we get together with our bags full of fresh evergreens, small dried flowers and seed capsules; coming from the cool night, we light the fire in the fireplace and start to make our own beautiful wreaths. And while beautiful music plays we talk of our childhood memories. It has become a tradition and we won’t miss it.
Some of our friends have developed their own Xmas Workshop now for some years and bind wreaths for charity events. Tüneysel and Christa have bound altogether 14 wreaths which they have sold on the KyreniaAnimalRescue Xmas Market at the Teachers Hotel today, that is December 1 where I have taken some pictures of them. Their beautiful work was very much appreciated.
The wreath, the circle, indicating the persistence of life, of family and friendship….of continuity of our society…as long as we are doing something to close the circle.