Christian Colours

Colour is important for the Christian year. Three colours are significant across five festival periods.
The colour violet is used for Lent in the preparation to Easter. Just before Lent is Shrove Tuesday, when Christians historically were shriven or confessed sins and received forgiveness. They also ate fast fatty foods to help the time of fasting. Nowadays this means pancakes with some filling. The following fasting period lasts for 40 days, and takes from Jesus' time in the wilderness facing temptation. It is made into the reflection upon coming suffering and death necessary to bring about eternal life. Lent is ended by Good Friday, a time when Christians commemorate the crucifixion without flowers or lighted candles.
Thus on Easter Day the paschal candle gives extra impact. The Easter candle represents the Light of the World. Orthodox churches put the lights off moments before a lighted candle appears at midnight. Some churches have held candles lighting other held candles for impact. There are flowers too. White represents the resurrection from the dark tomb.
The colour red is used for Pentecost because the tradition says that the disciples thought that the Holy Spirit looked like fire when it descended upon them. Pentecost takes place ten days after Jesus' Ascension (which ended his resurrection appearances). The coming of the Holy Spirit, called a person fully of God in Christian belief, gave the disciples power and Christian leadership and is so regarded therefore as the birth of the Christian Church.
Violet is used another time to symbolise preparation. This is Advent. Advent involves prayer, Christian interpreted Old Testament prophecies, Advent type carols, and Advent Calendar and Advent wreath. Holly, an evergreen, suggests Jesus Christ is everlasting, and the final candle after the four in preparation represents Christ the Light of the World. As Advent comes to a close there may be a Christingle service a few days before Christmas. A Christingle consists of an orange, meaning the world, a candle to state Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, a red ribbon is for the blood Jesus will shed for the world and attached fruits and nuts state that God gives the fruits of the earth.
After Advent comes the use of white again, which is for the celebration of Christmas. Christmas is celebration of the Incarnation which Christians traditionally place at Jesus' birth. The first service is at midnight of Christmas Eve.