This week marks the beginning of December and the beginning of the holiday season. It probably means that Christmas music will be ringing through the supermarket, the radio channels and may be added to your personal playlist.
The 1st of December, for some of you, might mean mark the first day of your advent calendars. The origins of advent calendars can be traced back to the 18th or 19th century in Germany. They were used to illustrate to children how many days were left until Christmas to help build up their anticipation.
Traditionally, advent calendars were used by religious families who made chalk lines on the walls or lit candles as a countdown for every day in December up until Christmas Eve. It evolved into the practice of hanging a devotional image along with the calender/ chalk and this is what led to the first wooden advent calendar in 1851.
Such calendars are far from the chocolate filled ones we know today- they certainly didn’t contain any treats. Traditional German calandars
The first printed calendar appeared in the early 1900s and eventually, small doors were added in the 1920s by a man named Gerhard Lang. However, they nearly became extinct so to speak.
In the 1930s cardboard was rationed and there was a Nazi ban on printing calendars with images. Luckily (especially for those us who have a sweet tooth), after the Second World War, the production of German advent calendars began again. At this time, the idea of adding chocolate became popular and advent calendars spread around the world.
Current day advent calendars
Advent calendars today don’t have the same religious ties that they used to but they still are great for building the Christmas excitement and anticipation.
Will you be opening your first door on your advent calendar tomorrow?
What else are you looking forward to in the lead up to Christmas?
Let me know below!