(CNN) — Wreaths, candles and calendars. These are sure signs of Advent for many Christian groups around the world.
As with many aspects of any religion, Advent customs and practices vary from place to place.
Here are some Advent and general Christmas traditions in various countries around the world. We’re also including possible houses of worship to visit if you happen to be in the vicinity. Just remember church services as well as other gatherings might be limited or canceled, particularly in Europe, where they are coping with another Covid-19 surge:
The English version of the hymn we sing today has some variation from the original, but anyone visiting Austria who happens to catch a performance should immediately recognize the soothing sound.
St Ignatius Cathedral reopened in December 2017 after a two-year renovation.
On Christmas Eve, Croatians eat “bakalar” (a type of dried cod).
Beiglis are a traditional Hungarian treat.
These are a daily Mass held every dawn from the first Sunday of Advent to the first day of Christmas. You may hear it called the Angelic Mass or Golden Mass.
Hungarians are a music-loving people, and various Christmas concerts are traditionally held around the capital of Budapest and other cities and towns.
Each evening in cities and villages across Mexico, a child dressed as an angel leads a processional, usually made up of children. They go to selected homes, where they are denied entry but often given refreshments.
This custom is followed in some parts of the United States, too.
Krakow marks the first Sunday of Advent by decorating beautiful Rynek Square square with lights, boughs and garlands.
The Christingles service might involve prayers, readings and singing. It also serves as a fundraiser for children’s charities. It can be held at the start of Advent all the way to Candlemas, but Christmas Eve is a popular time to hold a service.
For Orthodox churches that still follow the traditional ancient Julian Calendar, those dates are November 28 to January 6.
This article, first published in 2018, has been updated for 2021.
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