Each year, PCA German students celebrate Advent and Christmas with classic German traditions. On the first day of Advent, German students in each class gather around the Adventskranz (advent wreath) to light the first of four candles. As the candle is lit, the students sing a traditional German Advent song. The song mentions the candle burning and the joyfulness of the coming holiday; the last line is “Weihnacht, Weihnacht ist nicht mehr weit“, meaning “Christmas, Christmas is no longer far away.” This tradition is repeated four times during Advent, lighting each of the four candles.
Aside from German classes, the PCA German Club also holds their annual Christmas cookie baking each December. German students bake traditional German and Austrian recipes like Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and Zimsterne (cinnamon stars).
German Christmas carols like O Du Fröhliche, Stille Nacht (silent night), and O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) are also sung in class throughout the Christmas season. German students learn about holidays during the Christmas season like Nikolaustag (St. Nicolas Day), where children leave their best shoes by the door for St. Nicolas to put sweets into- that is, if they have been good. German students enjoy these traditions each year, remembering their origins and the value of other cultures.
The Christmas celebration culminates when the German classes perform a living nativity scene spoken in German for the PCA elementary students. We are so grateful to PCA secondary German teacher, Mrs. Emily Carlson, for the way she shares the beautiful message and traditions of Christmas through the PCA German classes!
Written by PCA senior, Morgan Raymond