Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.
Although it is a Christian tradition, many people observe Advent outside of the church community. The most common symbol is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on 1st December, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as 27th November and as late as 3rd December. Many take the form of a large rectangular card with “windows” of which there are usually 24: one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. One is opened every day leading up to Christmas. The calendar windows open to reveal an image, poem, a portion of a story (such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus) or a small gift, such as a toy or a chocolate item.
Another symbol counting down to Christmas is an Advent candle, where the candle is lit daily to melt a small section for each day of December leading up to Christmas.
Advent calendars are already available in the shops, so who will be joining me in eating my chocolate treat before breakfast every day?