Advent in Germany

My absolute favourite thing about living in Germany so far has got to be Advent. Growing up in Ireland ‘Advent’ existed purely in the religious sense with the exception of our ancient Advent calender which had picture behind the doors, not chocolates!

Kekse

Kekse

In Germany though, it extends far beyond church services and encompasses a whole month or so of festive traditions in the build up to the big day. Christmas decorations usually go up on or about the first Sunday in Advent and the Christmas markets open up just before.

Mandelmonde

Mandelmonde

Food and drink is also a big part of the celebrations and there’s nothing like a hot mug of Glühwein (mulled wine) at the Christmas market to stave away the December chill. However, one of the most endearing traditions (to me at least) is that of Weihnachtsplätzchen (Christmas biscuits).

Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl

They are traditionally baked and eaten during Advent and often given as presents to friends or neighbours. Most recipes are for pretty large quantities to ensure there are plenty to go around.

Lebkuchen Kekse

Lebkuchen Kekse

It is also sometimes a family event, with children involved in the easier steps like using the cookie cutters or decorating. Recipes are often advertised as being ‘wie aus Omas Backstube’ (roughly, ‘just like Grandma used to make’).

Zimtsterne

Zimtsterne

I spent Wednesday baking some of the classics as pictured here. They passed the authentic test by being appreciatively devoured by my husband’s work colleagues!

Kokosmakronen

Kokosmakronen

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