Christmas is a magical moment in Mulhouse : the City organises many celebrations : the Christmas market, Advent concerts, Christmas parade... the town Christmas illuminations which make Advent a magical moment.
The Christmas Cycle, Wiehnachte, begins on November 30th and ends on January 6th, festival of the three wise kings. Advent is celebrated with the custom of the Advent crown, " Adventkranz ", decorated with four candles.
Saint Nicholas is celebrated with enthusiasm on the 6th of December. He was the distributor of presents before that tradition was progressively moved to Christmas under the influence of Protestantism.
In Protestant regions and towns, it's the Christkindla, a young lady in white, who hands out the gifts. The young lady in white, occasionally with a crown of four candles on her head, comes alone or accompanied by Hans Trapp, and visits children on the evening of December 24th. She leaves presents under the tree, as has been traditional in Alsace since the 16th century.
The Saturday evening parade, and the Sunday parade, are composed of decorated carts, carnival musical troupes or acrobats, a rain of confetti and other paper decorations. A carnival for children, a transvestite competition, election of the Carnival queen, the arrival of the Carnival prince, the night of "follies" ... all part of the fun which makes a successful celebration.
This is not to forget the special evenings for women, held on the two Fridays preceding the last day of the carnival. This Bibalafrittig, " chickens ' Friday ", is a response to the older tradition of the gentlemen's evening, the famous Herre-n-Owa, organised by the Mulhouse Alsatian Theater.