December has officially arrived and that only means one thing, it’s time to open your Advent calendar.
This cardboard box is a must-have for many celebrating the Christmas season and it’s not just for kids.
There are now plenty of choices and varieties on offer, from makeup and candles to cheese and plants!
But why do we have advent calendars and why do we count down to Christmas?
Advent takes place close to Christmas, it is used as a countdown to help you prepare for Christmas day.
It means “to come” in medieval Latin and refers to the four Sundays before Christmas.
Advent officially begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, not December 1, although that’s when many of us open our Advent calendars.
This year, Advent fell on Sunday, November 28, but no matter when Advent starts, it will always last until Christmas Eve, or December 24, because that’s when the countdown Christmas is over.
Why do we have advent calendars?
There are several different theories, with some putting the history of this tradition back to the 1850s.
Advent calendars traditionally did not contain sweets or gifts, but instead depicted images from the Christmas story, with an image of the manager’s stage as the finale.
They originated in Germany and were made of wood until the 1900s when the first printed calendars were made.
Chocolate calendars weren’t made until 1958 and Cadbury’s didn’t release their first chocolate calendar until 1971.
These days, Advent calendars come in a variety of options for kids and adults.
There are plenty of choices ranging from traditional images to chocolate, makeup, alcohol, candles, gin, cheese and more.
What is an Advent candle?
Some people celebrate Advent by burning a candle in their house.
This candle will have 24 notches, allowing you to burn a section for each day as you count down to Christmas.
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