The four weeks before Christmas are called Advent. Christians, and many other people in Western countries, celebrate this time to help them get ready for Christmas.
Some people have Advent wreaths in their homes. These are different from Christmas wreaths. An Advent wreath is usually put flat on a table, not hung on a wall or door. It’s made of branches from evergreen trees, like pines. Four candles, three purple and one pink, are placed around it.
Each part of the wreath is symbolic. The round shape stands for eternity, with no beginning or end. The evergreens stand for eternal life – Christians believe Jesus came to our world to make this possible for all people.
Each candle stands for one week of Advent. People light just one candle the first week, two candles the second week, and so on. Three of them are purple because that color symbolizes repentance – turning away from our sins and faults. This is part of getting ready for Christmas. The one pink candle is lit in the third week of Advent. This time is supposed to be a short break from thinking about our sins.
The growing number of candles means there is more light as the time gets closer to Christmas. This reminds Christians that they call Jesus the light of the world.
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