By Idamina Babarinsa

Advent starts four weeks before Christmas (December 25) and it goes on up until Christmas. It started in the 4th century and in the past people went on a fast during the period. This is meant that people did not have noisy celebrations and there were no marriages taking place during the fast. People generally stopped fasting from the middle of the 20th century.

Between the 19th and 20th century it became a tradition to make a wreath –

a flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes, which is usually made from pine wood and decorated with four candles. Three of the candles are purple and one is pink, and it is very commonly used by Catholics. On the first, second and fourth Sunday they light the purple candles because it signifies repentance and on the third day they light the pink candle which signifies happiness that comes with the birth of Christ. Nowadays different other colours of candles are used and each of the candles have to be lit each Sunday before Christmas.

InHungary, every family celebrates Advent by lighting the candles together on each Sunday until Christmas. And the wreath can be bought in flower shops rather than making it.

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