These are German Advent tablecloths. You don’t often see them except in December. Each of the four corners stands for one of the four Sundays in Advent. At the end of the day, the corner for that Sunday is ceremonially burnt, so after the fourth Sunday, there is only a charred heap remaining, and at the beginning of January embroidery starts on the one for the following December.

4 thoughts on “Advent

  1. Neither my wife nor I have ever heard of anything like this in northern Germany. Burning tablecloths must be a southern tradition, although it fits well with the German habit of celebrating holidays with open flames.

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