The First Sunday in Advent: The Start of the Christmas Season

The official beginning!

Tree-lighting ceremonies often take place right around the first Sunday in Advent -- such as the festivities surrounding lighting London’s Trafalgar Square tree.

This Christmas tree is an annual gift from Norway to express that nation’s gratitude for Britain’s support during World War II.

When did all this get started?

The four weeks of the Advent season have probably been observed since the fourth century. In fact, during the Middle Ages, Advent began on November 11, the feast of St. Martin and lasted until Christmas Day. It was sort of a wintertime Lent -- with a focus on prayer and fasting.

Today, the first weekend in Advent is when many people start putting up Christmas decorations. Christmas lights on Main Streets and on large public Christmas trees are illuminated for the first time ... as we all get into the Christmas spirit!

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