The first Advent wreath was created in 1839 by Johann Hinrich Wichern, a theologist and teacher. He made that advent wreath with four big and twenty small candles to bring joy to the street children. During their time of these poor children in the Rauhen House Hamburg, they all together could count the days until the evening before Christmas.
This first Advent wreath became a tradition during the advent time, which means the four weeks before the Holy Night. (December 24). Later, people made their Advent wreaths, smaller versions with four candles, which they placed on their tables. The idea for an advent wreath reminds us of much older paintings and images of light garlands of the Vikings and the Huns. But with the traditional Advent colors red, green, and purple, the form mainly refers to the Christian beliefs.
Later on, the tradition spread out from the North of Germany to the South, Bavaria, Austria, and Switzerland in the late 19th century.
Tradition and use
As mentioned before, the tradition says, the first Advent Sunday, four weeks before the Holy Night, the first candle will be lit. From this day on, that first candle is generally lit every evening, where, in Christian households, family members usually pray. On the second Sunday, the first and second candles are lit, the third Sunday, the third candle is added, and so on.
The candles are the tools to hold the raising light that announces the birth of Jesus Christ, who is called ‘The Light of the world,’ born December 24, in a stable in Bethlehem.
According to the Tradition, the first Advent Sunday in 2021 was November 28.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom the power,
and the glory are yours now and forever.