The Origins of Advent Calendars

The first advent calendars were created in Germany in the early 1800s, although they were not made of cardboard like the ones we have today.

In Britain, Advent marks the start of the Christmas season and begins four Sundays before Christmas Day. Advent calendars serve as a countdown to Christmas and are opened every day from December 1st, revealing either a picture or a piece of chocolate.

The History of Advent Calendars

Originally, Christians counted down the days to Christmas by making chalk marks on their door or putting up a small religious picture for each day. The first mass-produced advent calendar, with 24 doors, was created in the early 1900s by Gerhard Lang at a printing office in Munich. These calendars were better decorated than those we have today, with over 30 different designs produced until the 1930s.

Advent Calendar Chocolate

Over time, advent calendars began to include chocolate behind their doors, which became a popular addition. During World War II, production was halted due to limited resources, but it resumed soon after the war ended. By the end of the 1950s, chocolate advent calendars had become widely popular, and many countries began using them to count down to Christmas Day. Today, advent calendars come in thousands of different varieties, although their religious significance has been lost.

Furthermore, advent calendars now usually have an additional larger door for Christmas Day, and they remain a popular tradition across the world.


1. What is the origin of Advent calendars?

Advent calendars have their roots in Germany in the 19th century. The first Advent calendar was handmade and consisted of 24 tiny candles. Each day leading up to Christmas, one candle was lit in anticipation of the holiday. Later, the candles were replaced by small pictures and eventually, individual doors that could be opened to reveal a treat or small gift.

2. When did Advent calendars become popular?

Advent calendars started to gain popularity in the early 20th century and became a widespread tradition in Germany in the 1920s. They soon spread throughout Europe and eventually made their way to North America in the 1950s.

3. What are some common types of Advent calendars?

There are many different types of Advent calendars available today, but some of the most common include chocolate calendars, which contain a small piece of chocolate for each day leading up to Christmas, and traditional calendars with doors that can be opened to reveal a small toy or gift. There are also DIY Advent calendars, where you can create your own with small envelopes or boxes filled with treats or activities.

4. Do Advent calendars have any religious significance?

The Advent season is a Christian tradition that begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Advent calendars are often used as a way to count down the days until Christmas and to remind individuals of the religious significance of the holiday. Many Advent calendars include biblical verses or messages to reflect on each day.

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