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Advent Calendar History

Posted by Ashleigh Potts on
December 7, 2021

The Origin Story of Advent Calendars

It's that time of year again! Countdowns add tradition and bring enjoyment to special celebrations. When it comes to counting down the days to the holidays, nothing is better than enjoying an entire month's worth of surprises with an Advent calendar! Opening a treat each day leading up to Christmas has become a cherished tradition across the globe. Today, there are countless types of advent calendars containing items such as chocolates, cosmetics, alcohol, jewelry, socks, and so much more.

Let's take a look at the origin story of Advent calendars and how they've become what they are today.

The word “Advent” derives from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival.”

Advent is the period starting on the Sunday closest to the feast day of Saint Andrew (November 30) through the following three Sundays. Every Sunday during this time focuses on the upcoming celebration. Today, counting down the days until Christmas starts on December 1, a day later than the Saint Andrew tradition.

The Advent calendar we love and know today dates back hundreds of years.

Counting down the days until Christmas wasn't always with a physical calendar to keep track of the day. Beginning in the 19th century, Germans would mark the days of Advent with chalk lines on doors and boards or lit candles to count down the days leading up to Christmas.

The first printed Advent calendar included as an insert in a German newspaper is credited to Gerhard Lang.

Lang created a card with 24 small illustrations that could be glued on for each day of the season. Lang later updated his calendar to include the doors that are standard with the Advent calendars we know today. However, he had to stop production during World War II because cardboard became rationed. Advent calendars have evolved significantly since then. Today, virtual calendars are a fun way to celebrate online.

The first chocolate Advent calendar was created in 1958.

The first chocolate Advent calendar may have appeared in 1958, but it wasn't until 1971 that it became popular for gifting. Since 1993, chocolate calendars have become a mainstay in the Advent calendar world. When the holiday season approaches, you can surely find an Advent calendar in a variety of options. The versions available are endless and can make great gifts during this time of year. There's sure to be an Advent calendar to delight the loved ones on your gift list.

Advent calendars have evolved greatly and become a special custom around the world.

Whether in person or online, advent calendars give a special meaning to Christmas. Wisteria is making it even better with our virtual Advent Calendar, featuring special offers and deals every day leading up to Christmas.

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