The countdown to Christmas begins this weekend. How many of you have an Advent Calendar?
from wikipedia -
a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. The days often overlap with the Christian season of Advent.
Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on
December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as
November 27 and as late as December 3. Many take the form of a large
rectangular card with 'windows' of which there are usually 24: one for
each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. One is opened every
day leading up to Christmas. The calendar windows open to reveal an
image, poem, a portion of a story .... or a small gift, such as a toy or a chocolate item. Some calendars are strictly religious, whereas others are secular in content.
Many of the symbols of Christmas echo those of the pre-Christian era when the Winter Solstice celebrated the return of the sun with the yule fire and lights. During Advent, an Advent Wreath is used in much the same way.
Advent Wreath Candles
Four candles are arranged in a
wreath: three purple candles and one pink candle. In the center of the
wreath sits a white candle. As a whole, these candles represent the
coming of the Light of Christ into the world.
On the first Sunday of Advent, the
first purple candle is lit. This candle is typically called the 'Prophecy Candle' in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who
foretold the birth of Christ. This candle represents Hope or expectation in anticipation of the coming Messiah.