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People used decorative wreaths as far back as ancient Roman times to signify victory.

The Advent wreath had its origins in the folk practices of the pre-Christian Eastern Europeans who gathered evergreens to make wreaths when the winter weather turned cold and dark and lighted fires as a symbol of hope for the coming spring and renewed light. By the 16th century, Catholics and Protestants alike used these symbols to celebrate their Advent, their hope in Christ and his everlasting light. Traditionally, the wreath is composed of 4 candles arranged in a circle of evergreens with a 5th candle in the middle. Every day, the candles are lit, one candle the first week and each successive candle per following week until December 25. The last candle is the middle one and marks Christmas Eve and represents Jesus Christ being born.