Started in America

What is Advent?

  • The days followed by Christmas.

  • It begins on the Sunday nearest November 30, the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, and covers four Sundays.

  • Because the day it begins changes from year to year, so does the length of each Advent season. In 2015, Advent begins on November 29.

The History of Advent

  • Advent has probably been observed since the fourth century. Originally, it was a time when converts to Christianity readied themselves for baptism.

Advent Wreaths

  • Advent wreaths have their origins in the folk traditions of northern Europe, where in the deep of winter people lit candles on wheel-shaped bundles of evergreen.

  • Both the evergreen and the circular shape symbolizes ongoing life.

  • The candlelight gave comfort at this darkest time of the year, as people looked forward to the longer days of spring.

Advent Calenders

  • An advent calendar is a card or poster with twenty-four small doors, one to be opened each day from December 1 until Christmas Eve.

  • Each door conceals a picture.

  • This popular tradition arose in Germany in the late 1800s and soon spread throughout Europe and North America.

  • Originally, the images in Advent calendars were derived from the Hebrew Bible.