Interactive Advent Calendar
Advent is a term from the Latin word 'adventus' which means "arrival".
It is a time of waiting for the arrival of Christmas, the coming of Jesus to earth when he was born as a baby at Bethlehem about two thousand years ago.
What is Advent | Advent Candles | Advent Wreath
Advent is the new year of the Christian Church and the church season that leads to Christmas Day.
Advent is the time when Christians remember that Jesus came into the world in Palestine 2000 years ago and that Jesus also promised one day to return in all His glory.
Clergy typically wear royal purple or royal blue vestments during Advent. Many churches also include an advent wreath (sometimes called an Advent ring or crown) in their Advent services.
The Christian year follows the life of Jesus. It begins with Advent Sunday - which is the Christian church, is 'New Year's Day'. The most important day of the year will be Easter Sunday, the day on which Jesus came back to life - but before that festival, there will be other special days to look forward to. At the end of Advent, there will be Jesus' birthday (Christmas Day).
Advent begins on the Sunday nearest to 30th November (St. Andrew's Day) and lasts until midnight on Christmas Eve. Advent Sunday is the first of the four sundays before the 25th December.
During the season of Advent, Christians across the world prepare for the celebration of the arrival of the Lord into the world through the birth of his Son Jesus Christ. Advent is a time to celebrate light in the midst of darkness. It is also a time to look forward to when Jesus will come a second time.
The beginning of Advent is when the preparations for Christmas really begin - the festive menu is planned, gifts are chosen and wrapped, carols sung, cards are written and posted and houses decorated.
In the 5th Century, Advent began on 11 November (St Martin's Day) and took the form of a six week fast leading to Christmas. During the 6th century, Advent was reduced to its current length and later the fasting was dropped.
What do the advent candles mean?