What is Advent?

Advent is a tradition celebrated by Christians in the weeks leading up to Christmas. They believe that this is a time of waiting and prayer as they anticipate the "birth of Christ," and use candles to help count down the weeks until Christmas Eve.

Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas Eve. Four candles; traditionally three purple and one pink, though white, blue, or red are also used depending on the specific church; are arranged on an evergreen wreath. On the first Sunday of Advent, which falls between November 27 and December 3, one purple candle is lit. Families celebrate by saying prayers, singing carols, or reading Bible passages about the time leading up to Christ's birth.

The next Sunday, two purple candles are lit.On the third Sunday of Advent, two purple candles and the one pink candle are lit. This is a Sunday of celebration because it means that there is only one more week until Christmas Eve! On the last Sunday before Christmas Eve, all four of the candles on the wreath are lit and families sing hymns and prepare for Christmas and the birth of Jesus.

by Lauren Orkus (Whyzz writer)

Further Information

In some cultures, every day from the first Sunday of Advent up until Christmas Eve is celebrated, not just the Sundays. Families commemorate each night by exchanging sweets or small gifts "" there are even special calendars made that include a chocolate or candy for each day leading up to Christmas. Yum!