Since the eighth century, the beginning or first season of the Christian year. Advent focuses on preparing for the coming of Christ. The term is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning to come. The season or period of Advent always includes the four Sundays before Christmas Day. (It begins with the Sunday closest to November 30 and ends with Christmas Eve day.) Because December 25 does not always fall on the same day of the week, the number of days in the Advent season varies from year to year. The liturgical color for Advent is purple.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by permission.