The Advent Crown
The Advent Crown was invented by Johann Heinrich Wichern (1808-1881), teacher and theologian from Hamburg who took in and looked after very poor children to the Rauhe Haus, an old farm. The children would ask during advent when Christmas was finally coming so in 1839 he made a wooden crown with 19 small red candles and four larger, white ones. Each morning an additional candle was lit and each Sunday, a larger while one. Since 1860, pine branches are used to make the crown. Another source indicates that in fact the first advent crowns appeared in Northern Germany in the 16th century, in order to prepare Christians for Christmas, only four weeks away.