Advent Background and Basic Information
Advent can be traced as far back as the Middle Ages. The season begins on the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew’s Day, marking the start of the Christian year, and ends Christmas Eve. This season may last anywhere from 22 to 28 days. Items such as Advent wreaths, candles and calendars are traditionally seen at this time of year. Many Christians who observe the season pair each candle lighting with scripture readings that surround the coming of Christ. There are also many Christians who attend special church services throughout the season.
Ways to celebrate
Over time traditions have shifted to reflect a more modern approach to observing the season. There are still some who display a traditional wreath with 4 candles; one to be lit on each Sunday leading up to Christmas. More recently, however, candle holders have emerged that contain 24 spaces for lighting each night of the season. There are also single candles numbered down the side to represent the place at which to extinguish the candle each evening of the countdown.
Much like the wreath or candles, Advent calendars are used as a countdown to Christmas day. Some calendars display simple numbers while others have boxes with tiny gifts in each. Regardless of which tradition you choose to practice, Advent is meant to encourage a time of quiet reflection during a season of hope.
Crafts & Projects for Advent
Christmas Calendar Lights (Swedish Blogger)
Succulents and Advent (German Blogger)
Simple Advent Calendar and Family Devotions (American Blogger)