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Advent wreaths

Nowadays, the Advent wreath is considered one of the most famous and popular utensils of the pre-Christmas period. But its standardized form with 4 candles has long been flanked by a variety of modern variants.


The Advent wreath originated in the "Rauhen Haus" in Hamburg, an institution of the Protestant Inner Mission for the rescue of orphaned and neglected boys. Its co-founder and director, pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881) had already arranged in 1838 that after the daily reading of Christmas promises a wax light was lit and placed around the organ in the prayer room, which "all 23 illuminated like a halo the praise of the Lord".


Development of the wreath

Later, the placement of candles in the Rough House changed. Around 1850, the form that is still in use today was already common. A simple wreath "carried by the chandelier on its arms" served as the Advent crown of lights. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent, a small candle was lit on it for each weekday and a large candle for each of the four Sundays of Advent. The Advent wreaths commonly used today, in contrast to the early forms - probably because of the size - have only four candles, one for each Sunday of Advent, but any other ornament as a decorative addition.

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