Christians around the world start celebrating Advent on November 27th in 2022. It is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. People start preparing for Christmas from this date on. The celebration of Advent goes back to the 4th century when the Church started commemorating Christmas. It is also the preparation for the second coming of Jesus Christ, marking the beginning of a new church year.
Every country has its own traditions for celebrating Christmas. Customs and practices vary from place to place. How is Advent celebrated around the world? We’ve prepared a list of the different types of celebrations of Advent in different countries.
During Advent, Chinese Christians decorate their homes with colourful paper lanterns. Giving apples for Christmas is also a custom of Advent. Apples are sometimes purchased in stores already wrapped in festive paper. Chains, flowers, and paper lanterns can all be used to adorn Chinese Jesse Trees. Kids in China hang stockings by the fireplace, just according to American traditions. The Chinese wish you a Merry Christmas by saying Shèngdàn jié kuàilè.
In Germany, four candles are lit, one for each week of Advent and placed on an Advent wreath by all the families. Every Sunday, they assemble around the wreath to sing carols and light candles. One of the earliest Christmas treat customs in Germany is stollen, a dessert which is just like fruitcake. In addition, hosts of Advent serve cookies that are placed all around their wreaths.
Hungary hosts a daily mass from the day of Advent to the first day of Christmas. It is called the Angelic mass or the Golden mass. The beigli is a traditional Hungarian holiday treat. The filling for this rolled crust is poppy seeds or walnuts. Due to the nation’s love of music, numerous Christmas performances are often staged in Budapest and other cities and towns.
Mexico hosts a religious celebration during Advent called the Las Posadas from December 16 to 24. It is a nine-day festival honouring the journey of Mary and Joseph. Every evening, an angel-costumed child leads a parade of kids in cities and villages all around Mexico. They visit different houses, where they receive refreshments but are denied access, much like the tale of the birth of Jesus.
Advent is a time of prayer, fasting, and spiritual preparation for Christmas in Poland. People spend the long, gloomy nights inside creating homemade gifts and Christmas tree decorations, baking Christmas cookies, and putting other delicacies for the holidays. Early-morning Masses are held. When they begin, it is still dark outside. During Mass, attendees light candles which represent salvation and the dawning of the day.
A fruit tree branch, often from a cherry tree, is traditionally submerged in water in the Middle East. It is referred to as the “Barbara branch” and is named after Saint Barbara, a martyred Christian. It is thought that the family whose branch blossoms on or prior to Christmas day would have good fortune. This custom stems from the fact that Jesus is the root that emerges from Jesse’s stump.
There are many such customs around the world. Each of these has its own hidden symbolism and significance and is anchored in history and culture. Christmas and Advent are occasions to refocus and prioritise. During Advent, everyone focuses on the advent of Christ. It is the time to rejuvenate oneself spiritually and completely focus on Jesus. Advent paves the way for Christmas. This is when families gather around and celebrate their love for Jesus Christ.