Everybody knows – and many of us celebrate – the four Sundays of Advent every year. The First Sunday of Advent is often recognized as the beginning of christmas season. And celebrating the Sundays of Advent often goes together with an advent wreath with the four candles on it. So far – so good.
But: What most people don’t know is the fact that there is another Sunday of Advent which is called the 0th Sunday of Advent. This is very unknown but also very logical. One week before the 2nd Sunday of Advent is the 1st Sunday of Advent. So here it is: The 0th Sunday of Advent is one week before the 1st Sunday of Advent! Surprisingly this is also completely unknown to e. g. computer scientists or nerds who know that their computers start counting by zero.
So what is it all about?
Looking at what is done regularly on the 1st Sunday of Advent it is very easy to understand what happens one week earlier: The tradition of the advent wreath is exactly the same as on the other sundays. The number in the sunday’s name tells us how many candles are to be lighted on the wreath. So on the 0th Sunday of Advent the advent wreath is already there but no candles at all are lighted. Besides this one can celebrate this sunday totally in the same way as the other four sundays.
The greatest benefit of celebrating the 0th Sunday of Advent is that christmas season starts one week earlier! This is a big advantage for many people. Those of us who are already waiting for christmas season since months before have one less week to wait and one more week to celebrate. Those of us who are in a hurry during pre-christmas season have one more week to get or make all the christmas gifts they planned to. This increases preparation time by 25%! Especially in western societies this is a big advantage.
In terms of security the 0th Sunday of Advent traditionally is that day of christmas season with the least amount of accidents. As no candles are lighted on the advent wreath there is no danger of hurting oneself or burning the house down.
The third big advantage is that the 0th Sunday of Advent is 100% compatible to the other four. One can use the same advent wreath with four candles. No change of configuration necessary. And you can do the same things you like to do as on the other Sundays of Advent.
Hacking the advent wreath
As demonstrated in the picture above I adapted the traditional advent wreath to my private building place. Four candles in a beautiful arrangement that brings much christmas feeling to my home. The picture is taken right at the 0th Sunday of Advent an so none of the candles is lighted…
Happy Advent seasen!