Advent and its traditions

During the four weeks leading up to Christmas there are several days that are important for folk traditions. 

Saint Nicholas’ Day on 6th of December, Luca’s Day on 13rd of December, Thomas’ Day on 21st of December and of course on 24th of December Adam and Eve’s Day. Not only these days are important, but during these four weeks before Christmas nativity play groups and carol singing choruses are starting to get organized.

But for how long Advent period does exist?
Advent has been held since the 5th century. It spread with the celebration of Christmas and from the beginning the two concepts were linked together. Christmas and Advent means preparation and celebration.

Advent wreath
Usually the colour of the candles in Catholic circles, except for one, is purple. This is a symbol of repentance and conversion. The third candle in order of ignition is pink, symbolizing the joy of the coming holiday and Maria’s motherly pleasures.
Each of the candles lit on the Advent wreath symbolises a concept: faith, hope, love and joy.

Faith: Adam and Eve for whom God promised salvation
Hope: Jewish people – to whom the Messiah promised to come
Joy: Virgin Mary – who gave birth to the Son (pink candle)
Love: St. John the Baptist – who preached the coming of Jesus and paved the way for the hearts of men

Advent Calendar – how many more sleeps until Christmas 
The Advent Calendar is very popular among children and serves as a timekeeping tool for this period.
Only one of the windows of Advent cottages and calendars can be opened each day, hiding a small gift.

6th of December – St. Nicholas’ Day the saint patron of celibates
Santa Claus is coming on this day, usually he arrives under the cover of the night.
You can write a letter to him or visit him but is strictly forbidden to meet with him during the night since he is very shy.

According to a legend by his name, a poor man lived in Mura who couldn’t afford marriages for his 3 daughters as he had no money to donate. This story came to Nicholas’ ear but the bishop was too modest to help openly. He threw the family 3 purses under the cover of the night to save the girls from having to work as prostitutes.
So this is why Nicholas is the patron saint of celibates and became the protector of marriages and motherhood.

13th of December Luca’s Day – On the day of light, we will find out who the witch is
The name Luca comes from the word ”lux lucis” and means light. On this day there is an enormous amount of magic and divination according to folk tradition. These include the Luca calendar. This means that there are 12 days until Christmas and these days are referring to the next year’s 12 months. The weather is recorded every day and they infer from it during the following year.

21st of December – Thomas’ Day
An interesting tradition belongs to the day of Thomas. On this day, pigs were often slaughtered and their fat was thought to be curative. It was rarely consumed, rather retained for emergency.