AskDefine | Define advent

Dictionary Definition



1 arrival that has been awaited (especially of something momentous); "the advent of the computer" [syn: coming]
2 the season including the four Sundays preceding Christmas
3 (Christian theology) the reappearance of Jesus as judge for the Last Judgment [syn: Second Coming, Second Coming of Christ, Second Advent, Parousia]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Advent



From perfect passive participle adventus, coming to, from verb advenire, come to, from prefix ad-, to, + verb venire, come


IPA: WEAE /ˈæd.vɛnt/


  1. Coming; coming to; approach; arrival.
  2. In the context of "religion|Christianity": The first or the expected second coming of Christ.
  3. In the context of "religion|Christianity": The period or season of the Christian church year between Advent Sunday and Christmas.


coming, arrival
  • Danish: komme, ankomst
  • Finnish: saapua
  • French: arrivée
  • German: Ankunft
  • Italian: avvento
  • Kurdish:
coming of the Christ
season before Christmas
  • Danish: advent
  • Finnish: adventti
  • French: Avent
  • Georgian: საშობაო მარხვა
  • German: Advent
  • Italian: Avvento
  • Japanese: 降臨節 (kōrinsetsu)
  • Maltese: Avvent
  • Polish: adwent
  • Swedish: advent
  • Spanish: adviento


  1. advent (the period from Advent Sunday to Christmas)

Extensive Definition

Advent (from the Latin word , meaning "coming") is a season of the Christian church, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus, in other words, the period immediately preceding Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western Christian year and commences on Advent Sunday. The Eastern Churches begin the liturgical year on 1 September. The Eastern equivalent of Advent is called the Nativity Fast, and differs both in length and observance (see that article for specifics).
The progression of Advent may be marked with an Advent calendar reckoning Advent to start on 1 December, a practice introduced by German Lutherans.
Latin is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a dual reminder of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting that Christians today endure as they await the second coming of Christ.


The theme of readings and teachings during Advent is often to prepare for the Second Coming while commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas. With the view of directing the thoughts of Christians to the first coming of Jesus Christ as Saviour, and to his second coming as Judge, special lessons are prescribed for each of the four Sundays in Advent.
A darker purple (sometimes called "Royal Purple") is used whereas in Lent the color is often a reddish purple ("Roman Purple"). This shade is used for the hangings around the church, on the vestments of the clergy, and usually the Tabernacle. On the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, rose pink is used, since this Sunday takes on a more joyous tone. In some Anglican and Lutheran churches, blue is the liturgical colour for Advent, a custom traced to the medieval Sarum Rite. This color is often referred to "Sarum blue." In the Eastern churches, red is used.
The "Late Advent Weekdays" or December 17-24, mark the singing of the Great Advent 'O Antiphons'. These are the antiphons for the Magnificat at Vespers, or Evening Prayer (in the Roman Catholic Church) and Evensong (in the Anglican Church) each day, and mark the forthcoming birth of the Messiah. They form the basis for each verse of the popular Advent hymn, "O come, O come, Emmanuel."
From the 4th century, the season was kept as a period of fasting as strict as that of Lent (commencing in some localities on 11 November; this being the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, the fast became known as "St. Martin's Fast," "St. Martin's Lent" or "the forty days of St. Martin"). The feast day was in many countries a time of frolic and heavy eating, since the 40-day fast began the next day. In the Anglican and Lutheran churches this fasting rule was later relaxed, with the Roman Catholic Church doing likewise later, but still keeping Advent as a season of penitence. In addition to fasting, dancing and similar festivities were forbidden.
In many countries, Advent was long marked by diverse popular observances, some of which still survive. In England, especially in the northern counties, there was a custom (now extinct) for poor women to carry around the "Advent images", two dolls dressed to represent Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. A halfpenny was expected from every one to whom these were exhibited, and bad luck was thought to menace the household not visited by the doll-bearers before Christmas Eve at the latest.
In Normandy, farmers employed children under twelve to run through the fields and orchards armed with torches, setting fire to bundles of straw, and thus it is believed driving out such vermin as are likely to damage the crops. In Italy, among other Advent celebrations, is the entry into Rome in the last days of Advent of the Calabrian pifferari, or bagpipe players, who play before the shrines of Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Italian tradition being that the shepherds played these pipes when they came to the manger at Bethlehem to pay homage to the infant Jesus.

External links

advent in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Піліпаўка
advent in Catalan: Advent
advent in Czech: Advent
advent in Danish: Advent
advent in German: Advent
advent in Estonian: Advent
advent in Modern Greek (1453-): Σαρανταήμερο (νηστεία)
advent in Spanish: Adviento
advent in Esperanto: Advento
advent in French: Avent
advent in Scottish Gaelic: Aidmheint
advent in Galician: Advento
advent in Hebrew: הציפייה
advent in Korean: 대림절
advent in Croatian: Došašće
advent in Indonesian: Adven
advent in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Advento
advent in Icelandic: Aðventa
advent in Italian: Avvento
advent in Latin: Adventus
advent in Luxembourgish: Advent
advent in Lithuanian: Adventas
advent in Hungarian: Advent
advent in Dutch: Advent
advent in Japanese: アドベント
advent in Norwegian: Advent
advent in Norwegian Nynorsk: Advent
advent in Polish: Adwent
advent in Portuguese: Advento
advent in Romanian: Postul Crăciunului
advent in Russian: Адвент
advent in Slovak: Advent
advent in Slovenian: Adventni čas
advent in Finnish: Adventti
advent in Swedish: Advent
advent in Turkish: Advent
advent in Walloon: Avéns
advent in Chinese: 將臨期

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Allhallowmas, Allhallows, Allhallowtide, Annunciation, Annunciation Day, Ascension Day, Ash Wednesday, Candlemas, Candlemas Day, Carnival, Christmas, Corpus Christi, Easter, Easter Monday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, Eastertide, Ember days, Epiphany, Good Friday, Halloween, Hallowmas, Holy Thursday, Holy Week, Lady Day, Lammas, Lammas Day, Lammastide, Lent, Lententide, Mardi Gras, Martinmas, Maundy Thursday, Michaelmas, Michaelmas Day, Michaelmastide, Palm Sunday, Pancake Day, Passion Week, Pentecost, Quadragesima, Quadragesima Sunday, Septuagesima, Shrove Tuesday, Trinity Sunday, Twelfth-day, Twelfth-tide, Whit-Tuesday, White Sunday, Whitmonday, Whitsun, Whitsunday, Whitsuntide, Whitweekaccess, accession, accomplishment, achievement, advance, afflux, affluxion, appearance, approach, approach of time, approaching, appropinquation, approximation, appulse, arrival, attainment, coming, coming near, coming toward, flowing toward, forthcoming, imminence, nearing, nearness, oncoming, proximation, reaching, time drawing on
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