This challenge is now complete, please feel free to browse all of the
completed tasks via the Advent Challenge tab.
So, Advent. We all know about Advent, its the run up to Christmas, we hear the prophesies and stories about the preparation for Christ, we light candles and open our chocolate filled calendars. But what does Advent really mean, where does i come from and why do we celebrate it in the way that we do?
The word Advent comes from the Latin Adventus which translates as "coming", however the word Adventus is the Roman translation of the Greek word Parousia which is used to describe the second coming of Christ. The reason that this word is used is because Advent is not just a time where we remember the waiting and build up to the birth of Christ, but a time where we remember that we ourselves are awaiting Christs return.
In the western Church Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year and begins four Sundays before the 25th of December, this means the beginning of Advent falls anywhere between the 27th November and the 3rd of December. In the western Church the colours used in the time of Advent are either purple or blue, purple being more traditional and blue coming in to favor due to its ties to the feeling of hope. In the eastern and Orthodox Church the colours associated with Advent, or the Nativity Fast as they call it, are red or gold.
Advent calendars were the product of the Germanic countries and Lutherism, as far as I can find out it was pretty much common practice in Germanic countries from about the 17th century with the first commercially produced printed calendars coming late in the game in about 1903. I can not find out a date for the first chocolate calendar but the idea of receiving a small gift behind each door has progressed far in the time since the first printed ones were produced. These days it is common to find many different types of calendar, my favorite being the Lego calendar where you receive a piece of Lego every day over lent, pretty awesome right.
There is much more I could tell you that I have learned about Advent, from the fasting to the Advent dolls often displayed in Norther England for luck. But to do so would vastly increase the length of this post, but I would advise you to look it up yourself, there is some very interesting reading to be done. So what is the next task? Well that is to be task number 5.Pray for those who don't have anything this Christmas. Check back tomorrow to see how that goes, but until then, Merry Christmas.