ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Holidays and Celebrations»
  • Christian Holidays

Advent Calendar

Updated on December 5, 2008

The Tradition Started in Germany

Advent calendars are a relatively new tradition that began about 200 years ago in Germany.

The tradition began in the Protestant areas of Germany where some families began preparing for Christmas by marking off the days from December 1st. The process varied from simple chalk marks on a wall or door to more elaborate things, like pasting a seasonal picture on the wall each day, lighting a new candle each day, etc. All had the goal of providing the children with a visual count of the days until Christmas.

In addition to helping the children count down the days until Christmas, these activities also helped the children to enjoy the anticipation of the coming Christmas holiday and celebrate Christmas as the highlight of a season-long event rather than as a solitary holiday. In addition to anticipating the coming holiday, the daily ritual of lighting a candle, drawing and hanging a picture on the wall, etc. served as an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of Christmas and its associated joys of caring and sharing with others. Just as the expected visit of St. Nicholas on the night of December 5th (eve of St. Nicholas Day) or Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, causes children to reflect and improve upon their behavior in order to receive a present from St. Nick or Santa, the Advent Calendar is also an activity with which families can help their children learn the deeper meaning of the season.

By the middle of the nineteenth century the Advent Calendar had become common in the Protestant areas of Germany. The dawning of the twentieth century saw the publishing of Advent Calendars commercially in Germany. Many were constructed with the dates on one page like a regular calendar. However, behind each date was a seasonal picture and/or verse. As each new day dawned the child would break the perforation for that date and turn back that day's number like a page to expose the picture/verse underneath. The tradition continued in Germany until World War II shortages caused them to be discontinued.

After World War II publishing companies again began producing Advent Calendars and the tradition spread beyond Germany. Little pieces of chocolate or other candy were added to many calendars. Now when the child opened that date they found a both a piece of candy (usually in the form of a seasonal object) along with a picture or verse.

Advent calendars are becoming more popular today and can often be found in stores like Wal-Mart and Walgreen's as well as European specialty shops in America. They can also be found on numerous sites on the Internet.

© 2006 Chuck Nugent


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)