Advent is not widely celebrated in England, its celebration actually originated in Germany, although in the church calendar Advent is the official start of the run up to Christmas.
Two traditions that have caught on in England are the Advent calendar and the Advent candle. The Advent Calendar originated in the 19th Century from the protestant area of Germany. Protestant Christian families made a chalk line for every day in December until Christmas Eve. Before long, commercial entrepreneurs started replacing the ephemeral chalk lines with printed calendars. The first known Advent Calendar is for the advent of 1851. Nowadays it is usually a thin rectangular card with 24 or 25 doors. The doors are numbered 1-24/25. Door number 1 is opened on the 1st of December, door 2 on the 2nd etc. Behind each door there is a Christmas scene (but the most popular ones have a chocolate behind each door) .
|"Marianne Schneegans Adventskalender" by Marianne Schneegans|
An Advent candle often has 25 marks on it, a bit of the candle is burned down by one mark each day. In some homes, 24 candles are kept, one for each night from December 1 through Christmas eve. One candle is lit for a while on December 1, then a new candle is added each day for the 24 day period. However, it is now more common to have four candles for the four weeks before Christmas. One candle is lit on the first Sunday, two the second week and so on. The candles were often placed on a wreath upon the dining room table. Advent candles are lit in many homes, schools and churches, in England, with a final central candle lit on Christmas Day; these are often on a hanging decoration known as an "Advent Crown." They became exceedingly popular due to a children's TV programme called Blue Peter, who every year made an advent crown from old coathangers, tinsel and candles! Well, they used to use candles, but because of health and safety insanity they now give instructions using baubles - it's not really the same, but you can make an advent crown following the instructions in this pdf file.