The First Sunday in Advent: The Start of the Christmas Season

Purple, Rose and White

So where did those Advent wreaths come from?

We don't know -- except that by the sixteenth century, Christians throughout Europe were making Advent wreaths much as we know them today with four candles -- one rose-colored and three purple symbolizing hope, peace and love. The purple candles are lit on the first, second and fourth Sundays of Advent. The rose candle, which symbolizes joy, is usually lit on the third Sunday. Sometimes a white candle is placed inside the wreath and is lit on Christmas.

Not all Advent wreaths are the same -- instead of purple candles, some people use blue. Others use all white.

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