Originally Advent was a time when converts to Christianity readied themselves for baptism. During the Middle Ages, Advent became associated with the preparation for the ‘Second Coming’, and in the early days, Advent, commenced from November 11, the feast of St. Martin, until Christmas Day. Traditional practices associated with Advent included lighting an Advent wreath, keeping an Advent calendar, praying an Advent daily devotional, erecting a Christmas tree, lighting a Christingle, setting up Christmas decorations and many, many more traditions.

Established Traditions

Advent represents a sequence of 4’s, with Christians celebrating the period of four Sundays, and the weeks, before Christmas day, this can include the practice of the lighting of 4 candles, each lit on the 4 Sundays during December – The Prophets’ Candle, symbolizing hope; the Bethlehem Candle, symbolizing faith; the Shepherds’ Candle, symbolizing joy; the Angel’s Candle, symbolizing peace.

There are other important Christian ‘sequences of 4s’ that are embraced during Advent that may be more commonly known by different cultures, embraced as traditional practice, or based entirely on family traditions which include the following themes, these sequences are put into practice in different ways:

  • Hope–Peace–Joy–Love
  • Faithfulness–Hope–Joy–Love[
  • Prophets–Angels–Shepherds–Magi
  • Faith–Prepare–Joy–Love

Whatever the practices that are followed during the season of Christmas. The Christian basis of Advent is the building blocks for the seasonal activities.

Modern Practices

In modern times Advent calendars have become very popular especially with children, they can hide anything from chocolate to gin behind there doors as we count down to Christmas. There are so many different variations of the Advent calendars that are used to sell and promote products during Christmas.

Chocolate, which is by far the most popular, but also perfumes, alcohol and a range of beauty products are used. You can also get advent calendars for your pets with dog or cat treats in them! The world’s largest advent calendar was made in 2007 and was displayed at St Pancras Station in London. It was 71m tall and 23m wide. Whilst one of the most expensive advent calendars ever made was in 2010 by jewellers in Belgium, this Advent contained 24 glass tubes each containing some diamonds and silver and was worth about £2.1 million!!!

Three Kings Day

A common tradition, referred to as the 12 days of Christmas was made popular by the Christmas carol of the same name. This period in Christian theology marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi – The Three Wise Men. It begins on December 25, Christmas Day, known as The Epiphany, and as Three Kings’ Day), and running through to January 6.

Family Traditions

Honouring traditions and customs for all the families we serve is embedded in Rowland Brothers International 7th generation family business.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and peace throughout the year. 

By Rowland Brothers International