German Language Blog

The World’s Largest Advent Candle Is In Germany Posted by on Dec 2, 2021 in Culture, Holidays, Traditions, Travel & Geography

Advent, advent, die Kerze brennt! (Advent, advent, the candle is burning!) The four Sundays before Christmas are the four days of Advent, anticipating the birth of Christ. To mark these days, each of them gets a candle – the four Adventskerzen (f, advent candles). They can be attached to Adventskränze (m, advent wreaths) and can be found in many German homes around Christmas time, along with the ever popular Adventskalender (advent calendars) that come in all shapes and sizes. But sometimes, these Christmas traditions are literally blown out of proportion. From the largest Weihnachtsbaum (m, Christmas tree) in the world in Dortmund to the largest Adventskerze in the world – let’s talk about that today.

Traditional Adventskerzen

Adventskerzen Advent Calendar Culture Christmas Weihnachten

Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

The traditional Adventskerzen are normally made of Wachs (n, wax). They’re often red, which signifies the blood of Jesus. A candle is burned on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Sometimes, people keep the candle lit for the entire advent time. If not, the candles that came before are lit again before igniting the one for that Sunday. On the fourth Sunday on or before Christmas, all four candles are therefore lit up!

But what happens if you blow such an Adventskerze out of proportion?

Die Größte Adventskerze der Welt

The malerische Altstadt (f, picturesque old town) of Schlitz in Hessen (Hesse) is once again lit up by the world’s largest Adventskerze that isn’t made of Wachs. Der Bergfried (keep) of the medieval Hinterburg (Rear Castle, the name of the castle) is wrapped in red cloth each year, with das Kerzenlicht (candlelight) on top.

Standing tall at 42 meters (about 126 feet), the Kerze made it in the Guiness World Records in 1992. The tower itself is 36 meters (about 108 feet) tall, reaching its full height thanks to the 6 meter (18 feet) tall Flamme (f, flame) made up of 140 Glühlampen (f, light bulbs). The idea was first realized in 1991, marking this year as the 30th anniversary.

After some initial difficulties with the Stoff (m, fabric), the cloth sat like a second skin around the tower, and it was turned on on November 28, the night of the first Advent.

Besides the Adventskerze, there is also a wonderful Weihnachtsmarkt (m, Christmas market) at the foot of the tower. So you can enjoy a nice hot cup of Glühwein (m, mulled wine) while marveling at the beautiful record-holding Burgfried.

Would you like to visit this Adventskerze? Are there such creative ways to reinvent traditions in your country? Let me know in the comments below! 


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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.