Advent Calendar - Locally made, German inspired!

The History of the Advent Calendar 

Nothing says Christmas like an Advent Calendar! The joy of counting down the days until Christmas morning when presents are opened…if someone hasn’t had a sneaky peak already!


Origins of the Advent Calendar

The first advent traditions

The origins of the advent calendars can be traced back to the 19th century in Germany. The protestant German tradition first started by marking chalk lines on their doors for every day in December until Christmas Eve, wiping off a line as each day pasted. Not quite the elaborate treat fill Advent Calendars think of today! The first recorded handmade, wooden Advent Calendar or Adventskalender dates to 1851 in Germany.

The first printed calendars appeared in the early 1900s. It was an innovation by Gerhand Lang to add small doors or windows to open on the printed calendar. The inspiration for this innovation is said to come from his childhood. He mother would give him a tin box with 24 cookies sown into its lid, he was allowed to eat one each day of December. Lang is therefore known as the father of the modern Advent Calendar, although perhaps his mother should get some of the credit!

Traditionally behind the doors or windows would be pictures or short bible verses. It wasn’t until the 1950s that treat filled advent calendars were produced, and which is also the time they began to spread around the world, taking up particular popularity in America. Today the Advent Calendar is a global Christmas tradition, coming in a variety of forms, materials, and colours.


Advent Wreaths

Advent wreaths are another German Christmas tradition, with a slightly longer history dating back to the 16th century. The advent wreath consists of 4 candles to represent the four weeks of the advent season. Each candle was used to symbolise an important Christmas value; Hope (week one), Pease (week two), Joy (week three) and Love (week four). Often an advent wreath would have a large central candle that known as the “Christ Candle”, this was lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

The tradition of celebrating the lead up to Christmas has its roots in German culture. At the German Village Shop we believe that Christmas isn’t just a day, but a frame of mind! So, bring on the Christmas cheer as we roll into the festive season. We have a special collection of locally handmade, wooden Advent Calendars that are waiting to become part of your families Christmas tradition.


Locally Made Advent Calendar

German inspired, wooden Advent Calendar | Hahndorf South Australia


See our advent calendar for sale!