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Advent
Advent
An acolyte lighting Advent candles
Observed by Christians
Type Christian, cultural
Significance Preparation for the commemoration of the birth of Jesus
Begins Fourth or (in the Ambrosian and Mozarabic Rites) sixth Sunday before Christmas
Observances Church services, completing an Advent calendar and Advent wreath, praying through a daily devotional, erecting a Chrismon tree, hanging of the greens, lighting a Christingle, gift giving, family and other social gatherings
Related to Christmastide, Christmas Eve, Annunciation, Epiphany, Epiphanytide, Baptism of the Lord, Nativity Fast, Nativity of Jesus

The Season of Advent, which begins on a Sunday about four weeks before Christmas Day, is celebrated by most Christian Churches, as well as some other Christian communities.

It is a time for Christians to prepare themselves for two different things: the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and for the Second Coming of Jesus, when he shall rule over all the Earth in peace.

Some people use it as a time of fasting, study, meditation and prayer.

Special Advent Calendars are made for children, with pictures or treats for each day of Advent.

In a lot of countries it is very common to have an advent wreath with 4 candles. In many Catholic and Protestant churches, the most popular colours for the candles are violet and rose. In other Protestant churches, especially in the United Kingdom, it is more common for Advent wreaths to have four red candles (reflecting their traditional use in Christmas decorations). Every Advent Sunday one more candle will be lit so that by the 4th week 4 candles are burning, which is a symbol for Jesus as the light of the world who is coming at Christmas. Sometimes there is a fifth white candle in the middle of the wreath.

In general, Advent is a time when many people are very busy in preparation for Christmas Day, cleaning and decorating, buying food and gifts, writing cards and letters, and cooking the Christmas feast.

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