Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Start of the Christmas season

For most Christians, the Christmas season begins on the Sunday closest to November 30th...the Feast Day of Saint Andrew, one of the Twelve Apostles. This Sunday is known as the First Day of Advent.Because the day it begins changes from year to year, so does the length of each Advent season. This year, Advent begins today.
Advent has probably been observed since the fourth century.The word "advent" is Latin for "coming towards" ("ad" meaning "towards" and "ven" or "vent" being the core of the Latin verb "veno," which means "to come"). In this context, Advent refers to the coming of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. Even as the Christmas season has become more secular -with advertisers urging holiday gift-givers to buy and buy some more - Advent still brings joy and the observance of ancient customs.The four Sundays of advent are often traditionally celebrated with four candles with one to be lit each Sunday. Each candle has a specific meaning associated with different aspects of the Advent story. The first one almost always symbolizes expectant hope sometimes associated with prophecy. The others are organized around as a way to unfold the story and direct attention to the celebrations and worship in the season, such as Peace, Love, Joy. A fifth, white or gold, candle -- called a "Christ Candle" -- is often lit in the center on Christmas Day or used to replace the wreath altogether.
According to old German tradition, on the first Sunday of Advent, the children should write their Christmas letter to the Christ Child. Accompanied by Angels, it is Christkindl...the Christ Child...who will bring the Christmas tree, together with all the good things to be found both on and beneath it.Hmm, but question is, to whom I should write my Christmas letter ? :-)