We have been enjoying Linda’s daily Advent creations and I started to wonder about the tradition of Advent and how it all started.
The internet proved, as usual, to be a font of knowledge. The website multiculturalkidblogs.com explains:
Advent is steeped in the history of Christianity - the word Advent means “coming” or “arrival”. During the month before Christmas, Christians prepare for the Advent of Jesus Christ. The church celebrating Advent goes back at least as far as the fifth century. In some religions and in the past people fasted during Advent. The fasting began with St. Martin’s Day which is forty days prior to Christmas and this was sometimes called St. Martin’s Lent. It was later shortened to the four weeks prior to Christmas. Advent always starts on the Sunday closest to November 30, St. Andrew’s Day. The Greek Orthodox Church still continues the fast during Advent, but not with the same rigor as the fast of Lent. The two most common practices around the world seem to be the Advent wreath/candles and the Advent calendar.
Then this kooky website mentalfloss.com provides some background to Advent Calendars:
Gerhard Lang is widely considered the producer of the first printed Advent calendar in the early 1900s. Around the same time, a German newspaper included an Advent calendar insert as a gift to its readers. Lang’s calendar was inspired by one that his mother had made for him and featured 24 coloured pictures that attached to a piece of cardboard, which he then modified to include the little doors that are a staple of most Advent calendars today. Production stopped due to a cardboard shortage during World War II, but resumed soon after.
The largest Advent calendar was built at St Pancreas station in London to celebrate its reopening.
The most expensive? In 2007 Harrods was selling a timber Christmas Tree shaped structure, each little compartment holding a $50,000 chocolate with the bulk of the proceeds going to cocoa farmers in Belize.
Check out this link if you want to see others. The Hubble Advent Calendar.
As you can see the choices are endless and only limited by your imagination. There are no rules on what form an Advent Calendar should take – other than commencing on 1st December and ending on 24th.
Advent is a delightful tradition that has a religious background, as featured in the hero image. It can teach children about the Christmas story and makes it fun for children and adults alike. For those of us that follow Anne’s blog – we love Linda’s Advent handmade surprises each day.