This year Advent is celebrated/ observed on Sunday December 3rd, 2017. Advent, for Western Christians starts the season for preparing for the coming of the Messiah and the celebration of Christmas with the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent always commences on the fourth Sunday before Christmas or the closest Sunday to St Andrew's Day which falls on November 30th each year and ending on Christmas Day.
People will celebrate by attending church the first Sunday with the church's message focusing on two messages of preparing for the Second Coming of Christ and celebrating the First Coming of Christ - Christmas. Catholic churches will often put up purple or violet as well as blue colors as hangings with the relevance of blue representing hope. Advent wreaths are also often put up by the churches during this season. It is common for people of Catholic faith to give Advent calendars as gifts during this season with little doors that open each calendar day and some with candy enclosed behind each door leading to the final 25th day on Christmas.
The origins of Advent go way back but were evident in the 6th century France in 567 AD Council of Tours where the monks were to fast for the entire month of December till Christmas Day. Many say the season goes back to the time of the Twelve Apostles and Saint Peter, however what has been consistent has been the fasting or Nativity Fast through to the time of Christmas Day.