79 0

(CNN) — Wreaths, candles and calendars. These are sure signs of Advent for many Christian groups around the world. The word Advent derives from the Latin adventus , which means an arrival or visit. Advent is the beginning of the spiritual year for these churches, and it's observed the four Sundays before Christmas Day . In 2018, Advent starts December 2. Each Sunday has a different spiritual theme and often involves the ceremonial lighting of an Advent candle in anticipation of Christmas and the birth of Jesus. Eastern Orthodox churches mark the lead-up to Christmas with a Nativity Fast , which starts on November 15. As with many aspects of any religion, customs and practices vary from place to place. Full story

2 December