Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar

Learn about the real tradition

So it’s that time of year again.

Purchasing the cardboard advent calendars at Christmas filled with Chocolate. Here are some interesting things you may not know about the advent calendar.

What does advent mean? The word “advent” is a Latin word that means “the coming towards”. Christmas is one of the greatest events in the life of any Christian as it carries the celebration of the best gift from God to mankind; the gift of the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, who came to earth in the human nature, experienced the sorrows and joys with mankind and finally died an agonizing death, the price he had to bear in order to pay for the human sins. This is what reconciled mankind back to God.

What is the Origin of Advent Calendar?

The importance of the birth of Christ was so significant to Christians that people felt that, celebrating it only in just one day wasn’t enough. Filled with a sense of overwhelming gratitude the advent calander prepares us for the birth of Christ. This will allow us to take time and meditate on Christ’s birth. The advent calander teaches children about the importance of Christmas. Slowly believers started marking their doors with white chalk on the days that preceded Christmas – days in December. There was a German mother who in the 19th century made her son an Advent calendar which comprised of 24 sweets which were very tiny, stuck on a board. The boy never forgot the excitement he felt when every day, he had to pick a sweet from the board while doing a countdown to the big day as December the 25th approached.

When he grew older, he went into partnership with a friend where they opened a printing office. In 1908, they produced the first advent calendar with a picture of each day in the advent. Come the 20th century and the pictures were turned into small windows to enable children to open a window every day until the 24th of December. Within time, other printing firms stole the idea of the advent calendar, and many versions were produced. This meant that the advent calendar was becoming an international affair and children all over the world opening the advent calendars each day of December - with a high anticipation of the Christmas day.

Diminishing of the Advent Calendar:

The idea started diminishing during the First World War when cardboard use was limited to the war effort. When the rationing started easing up in 1946, Richard Sellmer who was a printer, decided to reintroduce colorful advent calendars and it became a success once again. With the decline of Christianity in the western countries, the advent calendar is diminishing and children are rarely taught about it, thus losing its original meaning. Most parents and children nowadays don’t even know the origin and the initial meaning of the advent calendar or its true purpose. The main purpose of the advent calendar was to prepare for the celebration of the advent of Jesus Christ.

By Florance Saul
Jan 4, 2017