Advent is latin for 'coming.' Celebrated since the forth century, Advent was originally a time when "converts to Christianity [would] prepare for baptism... Now [it is] more commonly associated with the anticipation of the anniversary of Christ’s birth on December 25" (Mental Floss).
While some people celebrate advent for religious reasons, many use it as a way to count down to the Christmas holidays. This Christmas tradition "dates to the mid-19th century, when German Protestants made chalk marks on doors or lit candles to count the days leading up to Christmas" (Mental Floss). Today, people use calendars that reveal chocolate, gifts or pictures on each day leading up to Christmas.
Gerhard Lang is credited for creating the first commercial advent calendar. He ran an advent countdown to Christmas in his local Newspaper, which featured little cardboard doors that opened up to a picture each day. It was a widespread success in Germany and eventually made its way to America via President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower was pictured opening up an advent calendar with his grandchildren. The picture was printed everywhere, leading to a new tradition for many Western families.
Advent Calendars have evolved quite a bit since their original inception, especially in the 21st century. Lego, Wine, Comic and Coffee advent calendars are available to consumers, who are always looking for a unique way to countdown to Christmas. However, chocolate still remains the favourite.
Do you partake in the advent calendar tradition? If so, what do you do to countdown to the holidays?
Let us know and please share this with family and friends!
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