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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The First Advent

Last Sunday was the First Advent

This year it fell on November 29th. 

Advent Sunday is the fourth Sunday BEFORE Christmas Day. 

How excited we were.
Running up four flights of stairs to wake up the first Räuchermann (incense smoker).
Impatiently waiting for grown ups to catch up.

German ebay

 Gently taking him out of his box, gently carrying him down to the Gute Stube (the best room of the house).  Only good little girls and good little boys are allowed to carry him. 
Placing  him on the fireplace mantle where he fills the air with exotic incense. And where soon he will be joined by three more Räuchermännchen, the next three Sundays.
Christmas Season had officially begun.

German ebay

Cone incense is placed inside and lit.

German ebay

We were spellbound, waiting for the smoke to come out of their mouths.

The tradition is observed in many parts of Germany and other central European countries. But nowhere more celebrated than in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) central Europe near the Saxony/Bohemia border. 
Ore Mountain Folk Art, in the form of Smoking Figures (Räuchermännchen), Christmas Pyramids, Nutcrackers and many other colorful and hand carved ornaments are known the world over.

Happy First Advent to you, my dear
Blogging Friends.



  1. Oh Gina, how lovely and so interesting. These are the kind of things I miss from the years growing up in England, traditions which never die and are not composed of expensive items requiring driving long distances, spending loads of money, fighting crowded shops. My Christmas memories from childhood are still very vivid - I can see the details clearly and remember everything we did. Perhaps because they WERE simple things which were repeated every year - such as cutting strips of paper and gluing them together to make paper chains which hung from the ceiling. Our tree was tiny, bought on Christmas Eve day and put up that evening - all the decorations, other than the small glass balls we used years after year - we kids made ourselves out of natural things mostly found in the garden and hedgerows.

    Well I could go on and on being a boring old person I suppose - just want you to know I love holiday traditions and your Advent ones are beautiful.
    Love - Mary

    1. Dear Mary, Of all holidays Christmas is the one celebration I remember vividly even as a four year old and even younger. My mother always "refurbished" our doll house every year. I don't know when she did it because it was always a surprise to see the new/old dollhouse on Christmas Eve. The Christmas tree was there, as if by magic, right after I came home from the Christmas play where every year I played an angel. It was all very simple and very memorable.
      So I know how you feel. I could also be a boring old person, because that is what I am, and it's all right.

  2. How wonderful. Christmas is my first remembrance and it is many decades now since as a small child we watched the wonder up in Oregon, with the snow capped mountains of Mt Hood showing and the Santa Claus parade came by the old Montgomery Wards Store that my father managed. Great memories~

    1. Dear Mary, Isn't it wonderful to have such great childhood memories. They will last us for the rest of our lives.