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.
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.
Cone incense is placed inside and lit.
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
Partial repost, December 2012