November 30, 2020
Advent is the of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas when Christians prepare for the coming of Jesus into the world and remember the real meaning of Christmas. Advent actually has two spiritual purposes: we prepare spiritually for Christmas in remembrance of Christ’s first coming, and we also prepare ourselves for Christ’s second coming, whenever that may be.
There are several ways that Advent is counted down but the most common is by a calendar or candle(s). There are many types of calendars used in different countries. The most common ones in the UK and USA are made of paper or card with 24 or 25 little windows on. A window is opened on every day in December and a Christmas picture is displayed underneath.
In the 19th Century, German protestant Christians counted down to Christmas by marking 24 chalk lines on a door and rubbing one off every day in December. The world’s largest advent calendar was made in 2007 at the St Pancras Train Station in London, England. It was 71m tall and 23m wide and celebrated the refurbishment of the station.
When they were first made, scenes from the Christmas Story and other Christmas images were used, such as snowmen and robins, but now many calendars are to sell and promote different products including chocolate, perfumes, alcohol and beauty products. You can even get advent calendars for your pets with dog or cat treats in them!
Here are just a few examples from Good Housekeeping and Today:
- Friends: The Official Advent Calendar
- The Office: 12 Days of Socks
- Dog Advent Calendar
- Lego: City Advent Calendar
- Harry Potter Advent Calendar
- Shake Your Beauty Holiday Advent Cosmetics Calendar
- Wine Advent Calendar
Check out these Advent traditions in various countries around the world.
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