The story of the Advent Calendar
Germans love Christmas. In fact, for Germans, it’s the most important holiday of the year!
Many traditions help us Germans prepare for and enjoy the Christmas season to the fullest, like Saint Nicholas Day on Dec 6th or the four Sundays of Advent, Christmas cookies and much more.
One tradition, however, stands out since it is equally loved by children and adults. The Advent Calendar!
Who doesn’t like a countdown to a highly anticipated event?
Apparently many don’t want to miss it. In places all around the world, one can now find these magic Advent Calendars that hide chocolates or little toys behind their secret doors. Even beer calendars are available or calendars filled with a variety of liquor filled chocolates. The possibilities seem endless…
In the old days, just a beautiful little picture behind a door would make kids happy. Today some Advent Calendars made it even online, published by companies that discovered it as another tool to engage customers.
The first Advent Calendar originated in Germany in 1904 when Gerhard Lang published a simple one as an insert in a newspaper in Stuttgart. It was a raving success! So Lang decided to print a new one every year. The designs became more and more elaborate from calendars that worked like a dial to calendar houses filled with chocolates to even a calendar in Braille for the blind.
But how did he get the idea to make a calendar that would count down the days to Christmas in the first place?
The idea of counting down to Christmas Eve already existed in different ways. Some families used to mark the days to Christmas with chalk on their doors, in other families children were putting one piece of hay every day into a manger in which Baby Jesus would be laid on Christmas Eve.
Gerhard Lange’s mother however handcrafted a calendar for his then little son that would be filled with a little meringue for every day in December leading up to Christmas Eve. That caused a lasting impression and, as an adult, inspired Gerhard Lange to expand on his mother’s idea of an Advent Calendar.
The ‘modern’ Advent Calendar was born and started out to conquer the world in all kinds of variations!
Wir wünschen eine schöne Vorweihnachtszeit!
Happy Holiday Season!