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Advent is a Christian tradition associated with the coming of Christmas. The name Advent comes from the Latin adventus, which means "coming" or "arrival." Christians mark Advent by looking forward to Christmas, the birth of Jesus, Christianity's central figure.

Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before December 25. Depending on the calendar, this could be anywhere from November 27 to December 3.
Churches are usually decorated in vestments of the colour purple (although some churches choose blue instead). Some churches choose pink or rose red to mark the third Sunday of Advent.

On each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, churches commonly light an Advent calendar. These candles are commonly displayed in an Advent wreath, and some wreaths contain a fifth candle that is lit during a Christmas Eve service. The middle is generally of a color different from the outer candles. Some churches have a pink or rose red candle for the third Sunday as well. It is not only in church services that Advent candles are lit, however; this is common practice in homes as well.

People who mark Advent with more than a passing interest commonly employ an Advent calendar or an Advent wreath. The calendar has "windows" that open, revealing a meditation appropriate for the season, on each day leading up to Christmas Eve.


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