What is it?

Advent, a holy season on the Christian calendar, is comprised of the four Sundays before Christmas. This year, it arrives on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Time for joy and sorrow

During Advent, devout Christians take time to pray, reflect on the past year and mourn for the sin and evil in the world. Although Advent is a time of sorrow, it’s also an opportunity to express hope.

Candle lighting common

Representing hope and everlasting light, candles have been traditional symbols of Advent for centuries. On the four Sundays prior to Christmas, most churches light an Advent candle, with each candle corresponding to an anecdote from the Bible.

Purple quite popular

While green and red are typically associated with Christmas, the period leading up to Dec. 25 is all about purples or violets.

Fasting fades

While it originated as a period of fasting, many Christians focus on praying and repentance rather than fasting.

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