ADVENT ACROSS THE GLOBE Advent is the beginning of the Christmas season in anticipation of the birth of Jesus and is celebrated throughout the world. Many Advent activities include creating crafts, spending time in the kitchen or participating in faith-based acts like fasting. As with all religions, culture defines tradition. Here are some ways our brothers and sisters around the world celebrate Advent in their cultures. Poland A deeply Catholic country, Poland celebrates Advent by attending a mass called “roraty.” This special mass begins before sunrise when it’s still dark out. Churchgoers light candles at different times during the service, gradually lighting up the church until the sun comes up. This symbolizes the miracle of Jesus’ birth, bringing light and salvation. Mexico Many Mexicans celebrate “Las Posadas,” meaning “The Inns.” This nine-day celebration from December 16 – 24 represents the journey Mary and Joseph took when looking for a place to stay. Each evening, a child dressed as an angel leads a processional to go door-to-door to designated “inns.” France In France, the first Christmas tree appeared in 1521. It was covered in red apples and lights to commemorate the illumination that Christ’s birth embodies. Advent calendars are another favorite tradition. At Christmas time, the local postman or fire fighter goes door-to-door selling Advent calendars. Germany Families across Germany will be setting up an Advent wreath with four candles, one for each week of Advent. Many sing carols while lighting the candle every Sunday. One of the oldest German traditions is to make “Stollen,” a fruit-filled bread similar to fruitcake. What are some of the traditions that were passed on from generation to generation in your family? Whatever the tradition, we encourage you to celebrate the true meaning of the season. Sign Up Today! Prepare for Christmas with our online Advent calendar. Visit cfl.org/advent to sign up to receive daily scriptures, inspiration and Christmas activities in your email. ¡Ahora disponible en español!
12 CATHOLIC FINANCIAL LIFE FALL 2019
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