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Topic: Advent and Christmas

The Star of Bethlehem, a watercolor by Edward Burne-Jones, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Star of Bethlehem, watercolor by Edward Burne-Jones, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

The season of Advent, which comes comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit," begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians.

Although we are accustomed to celebrating Christmas on a single day, in both Christian tradition and on the Church calendar, the Christmas season lasts sundown on December 24 (Christmas Eve) through Epiphany of the Lord (January 6). This is sometimes popularly referred to as "the twelve days of Christmas."