Catholic Activity: Christmas Wheat
The Hungarian custom of growing a grain of wheat for each kind act or sacrifice can be adopted by children during Advent.
It is an ancient Hungarian custom to offer to the Infant in the manger the green sprouts of wheat. Agriculture is the mainstay of the Hungarian nation and wheat is the symbol of sustenance and prosperity for this nation. It is therefore the most suitable gift for the newborn Saviour.
But it also has a meaning for everyone. The "new wheat" symbolizes the "new bread" in the natural order and also the "New Bread of Life" in the supernatural order; for it is from wheat that the altar bread is made which becomes the Holy Eucharist, the bread of our souls.
The wheat seeds are planted on the day of St. Lucy (or Lucia), the virgin martyr, December 13th. Kept in a moderately warm room and watered daily, the plant reaches its full growth by Christmas. The little daily care given to it is flavored with the joy of expectation for the approaching Christmas and spreads the spirit of cheerfulness as the tender plant reminds us of our spiritual rebirth through the mysteries of Christmas.
To plant the seeds, take a flower pot four or five inches in height and fill it with plain garden sod. Spread the seeds on the top and press gently, so that the seeds are covered with sod. Do not push them too deep.
Watered daily at the manger and paying its simple homage to the newborn Saviour, the plant will last until about January 6th.
"O all ye things that spring up in the earth, bless the Lord." (Canticle of the Three Children)
Activity Source: Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, Pantheon Books Inc., New York, New York, 1955