Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas Day, will start on Dec.2 this year. The word “advent” originated from Latin term “ad-venire” meaning “to come to” and the day marks the beginning of preparations to celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas.

Here are some facts about Advent –

1. Every Sunday of the Advent season has varied themes. While the first Sunday marks “faithfulness” associated with the arrival of Jesus, the second Sunday marks “hope.” The third Sunday represents “joy” while the last Sunday is associated with “love”.

2. Candles are used as a traditional symbol to mark the season and are lit in most churches on the first Sunday. Each candle represents one anecdote from the bible. Wreaths are also used to celebrate the season, Mental Floss reported.

3. The color purple, that represents repentance and fasting in Christianity, is used to decorate churches during the season.

4. While orthodox Christians fast during the season, others stay away from certain foods such as meat, dairy, or desserts and focus on praying.

5. Children make decorative ornaments during this holy season which are later used to decorate churches and homes on Christmas day. Most of these ornaments represent symbols in Christianity such as doves and fish.

Below are some quotes about the holy month, sourced from Goodreads –

1. “Advent is the time of promise; it is not yet the time of fulfillment. We are still in the midst of everything and in the logical inexorability and relentlessness of destiny.… Space is still filled with the noise of destruction and annihilation, the shouts of self-assurance and arrogance, the weeping of despair and helplessness. But round about the horizon the eternal realities stand silent in their age-old longing. There shines on them already the first mild light of the radiant fulfillment to come. From afar sound the first notes as of pipes and voices, not yet discernable as a song or melody. It is all far off still, and only just announced and foretold. But it is happening, today.” – Alfred Delp

2. “At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God’s own love and concern.” – Mother Teresa

3. “It is now, at Advent, that I am given the chance to suspend all expectation…and instead to revel in the mystery.” – Jerusalem Jackson Greer

4. “For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning – not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.” – Frederick Buechner

5. “The only people who soul can truly magnify the Lord are…people who acknowledge their lowly estate and are overwhelmed by the condescension of the magnificent God.” – John Piper

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