The origins of the Advent wreath are found in the folk practices of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples who, during the cold December darkness of Eastern Europe, gathered wreaths of evergreen and lit fires as signs of hope in a coming spring and renewed light.
Christians kept these popular traditions alive, and by the 16th century Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany used these symbols to celebrate their Advent hope in Christ, the everlasting Light. From Germany the use of the Advent wreath spread to other parts of the Christian world.
Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle of evergreens. Three candles are violet and the fourth is rose. Nicolai, the youngest pupil in the Seniors, lit the first candle at Assembly. Theo, whose birthday it was, lit the Prep Advent candle. The other lights will come alive in the next three weeks as the Birthday of Jesus draws near.