So when does Advent officially start? Advent calendars begin with December the first, but in actual fact it starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas. That means Advent officially begins on Sunday 3rd December this year.

Instead of an Advent calendar the church counts down to Christmas using the Advent wreath. These can vary a bit from church tradition.

They usually include four red candles and a white central candle, the white candle being lit on Christmas Eve.

Other churches will have three purple candles and one pink candle, reminding us that Advent is both a time of solemnity and also one of rejoicing as we look forward to Jesus’ birth.

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