Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. Advent starts on the Sunday nearest to 30 November.
There are many types of calendars used in different countries. The most common ones in the UK are made of paper or card with 24 or 25 little windows on. A window is opened on every day in December and a Christmas picture is displayed underneath.
Advent candles are also used to count down to Christmas Day in Advent. They look like normal candles but have the days up to Christmas Day marked down the front. On the first of December, the candle is lit and burnt down to the first line on the candle. The same is done every day and then the rest of the candle is burnt on Christmas day.
A Christingle, meaning "Christ child" is an object used in Christianity during Advent. Typically, they are oranges, decorated with pieces of dried fruit or sweets and with a candle attached.
The orange symbolises the world, while the candle is used to represent Jesus who is the light of the world. The sweets symbolise all of God’s creations - although some people say the sweets symbolise the four seasons. A red ribbon is tied around the orange to represent God’s love for the world.
To make a Christingle with your children, you will need:
First, take an orange and tie your red ribbon around the middle. Next, place a small amount of foil on the top of the orange before sticking your candle into the orange. Now, you can add your sweets! Take one of your cocktail sticks and add a piece of fruit or a sweet onto it, then stick it into your orange. Repeat this three more times so you have four sweets or pieces of fruit on your orange, for the four seasons.
Christmas Eve occurs every year on the 24 December, the day before Christmas Day, which is the day that celebrates the birth of Jesus. Countries around the world have special celebrations and customs which take place on this day.
Midnight Mass is a popular Christian tradition which takes place on Christmas Eve. There are a number of non-religious traditions associated with Christmas Eve too. In anticipation of Father Christmas arriving with their presents on Christmas Day, children will often leave out milk and cookies or other treats for Father Christmas and the reindeer.
Christmas Day is a Christian holiday which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Though, in more recent decades, Christmas Day has become a day to spend time with family and friends, give gifts and eat large, traditional meals. Christmas Day takes place on December 25th.
Christmas is celebrated on December 25th to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.
Boxing Day is celebrated on the 26th of December and is a national holiday that always occurs on the day after Christmas.
Boxing Day is celebrated in many countries, with many having laws that make it a statutory holiday.
Popular traditions of Boxing Day
In the countries that celebrate it, Boxing Day includes the celebration of lots of local and national traditions.
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