Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Happy Hanukkah and Advent

on November 28, 2021
(University of Colorado graphic)

November 28, 2021 is the first day of Hanukkah and the first day of Advent.

Want to learn more?

The Story of Hanukkah (Chanukah):

(ISL Collective graphic)
(Advent wreath, cstar55/Getty Images)

The Story of Advent

Advent comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means arrival. In the Christian tradition, the four Sundays before Christmas represent the Season of Advent. These four weeks are spent waiting for and preparing for the arrival of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, through prayer, penance, fasting, study, and good works. Children use special Advent calendars to mark each day, discovering a chocolate surprise behind each little door.

In the 16th century, German Lutherans began creating special Advent wreaths to commemorate the four Sundays before Christmas. It wasn’t long before Catholics adopted this tradition. The wreath contains four candles: three purple and one pink. Sometimes, a white candle is placed in the center of the wreath.

Each Sunday, a candle is lit as follows:

First Sunday: one purple candle, called the Prophets’ candle, in memory of all the prophets, but particularly, the Prophet Isaiah, who foretold the coming of the Messiah. This candle symbolizes HOPE.

Second Sunday: the next purple candle, called the Bethlehem candle, which symbolizes LOVE.

Third Sunday: the pink candle, called the Shepherds’ candle, which symbolizes Joy. This candle reminds us that our waiting is nearly over. Our faith is strengthened through prayer and fasting.

Fourth Sunday: The last purple candle is lit, completing the circle. This is the Angels’ candle and symbolizes PEACE.

Christmas: When the white candle is included, it is lit on Christmas Day and symbolizes CHRIST – the light of the World.

From Christmas Day (December 25th) to Epiphany (January 6th) is called the Twelve Days of Christmas, just like the old carol.

Peace Be With You All!

Dawn Pisturino

November 28, 2021

15 responses to “Happy Hanukkah and Advent

  1. utahan15 says:

    we re running out of year tho

    Liked by 2 people

  2. GHLearner says:

    That’s interesting. I’m German, grew up catholic and advent wreaths were a given at home and in church, but I never heard or saw the purple/pink candle story. Maybe that’s a protestant thing? Or an English/American thing?
    What I learned was that the wreath was originally made with 24 candles but later reduced to four.
    But as it often is with things you take for granted: I never really thought about its history all that much. It’s just a tradition I always liked even though I’m not religious. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. abvr says:

    Oh we into the first Sunday of Advent already.
    I love how the days are celebrated on every Sunday …and the wreath.
    Happy Hanukkah
    Happy Advent

    All around the world the Advents are decorated and celebrated so differently.
    Candles are also associated with the the cold and it gives a wonderful ambience at this time of the year.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Neal Saye says:

    Great post, Dawn. Here’s Robert’s and my advent “wreath”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Neal Saye says:

    Oops. I hit “reply” too soon! Here’s our advent “wreath” from last year’s stay-at-home time. (I’m trying to send the pic or a link to it.)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It is such a long time ago, advent was the most exciting time of the year; Christmas was lying ahead but seemed to take forever to arrive. Talking about suspense! Us children had to go into the forest to collect the branches for the wreath and those small pinecones for decorating. We enjoyed making them; build always a few, for neighbours and the old relatives. We only use four red candles and in the last week before Christmas after the last candle was lit we also burned the wreath. It was a time of storytelling in the evening, while we stared into the candlelight. Our mother knew all those Brother Grimm’s fairy tales by heart, so there was no need to read from a book and the stories sounded so much better anyway. Those fond memories will stay forever in my heart.
    Christmas has completely disappeared from my life since I have moved into this hot Australian climate. For me, Christmas appeared to be mystically pagan rather than a religious event. Connected to snow-laden icy winters, cosy warm homes and the smells of baking.
    I never heard about a white candle, something new to learn!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. […] Happy Hanukkah and Advent […]

    Liked by 1 person

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