Swiss Christmas Tradition: Adventkranz (Advent Wreath)

What is an Adventskranz? Swiss Christmas Tradition.

Yesterday everyone opened door number 1 on their Advent calendars, and today in Swiss living rooms around the country people will be lighting the first candle on their Adventkranz. 

An Adventkranz, or Advent wreath,  is layered with pine fronds to create a bushy wreath, decorated festively and topped with four candles to be lit on each Sunday during Advent. They can be homemade or purchased from the local florist, supermarket, garden centre, or at Christmas markets. 

 Wreath don’t always have to be circular - like this created by my sister-in-law

Wreath don’t always have to be circular - like this created by my sister-in-law

Some families skip the Adventkranz all together and stick to a more minimalistic look with only the four candles. Or you can look for a more reusable option with many homeware stores having options that can be used year after year. 

Our Advent Wreath

Just in time to light the first candle today, the Teen spent her Saturday morning with the local girls youth group making our family advent wreath, a long tradition in our village. Older members of the group have been busy over the past few days making made-to-order wreaths to sell to local families. 

 Homemade by the Teen.

Homemade by the Teen.

On each Sunday evening during Advent when the sun has gone down we will turn off the lights and the kids will take turns lighting the Advent candles. We sing both a Swiss Advent song “Vier Kerzen” that the kids learned in school and an English song “Light the Advent Candle” that I sung as a child in primary school (check out the songs below). It’s one of my favourite traditions - time to slow down, even if it's just for 5 minutes—and enjoy each others company. 


Want to make your own Advent wreath?

  • Make your own with inspiration on Pinterest

  • Check out this You tube video

  • Or keep things simple by choosing just 4 candles to light over the Advent season. 

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Swiss Advent Wreath, Switzerland Christmas Traditions