Why Do We Have Advent Calendars? | Friars

Why do we have Advent calendars? Well, simply put, in these modern times we have them to count down the days until Christmas day. Pretty much as those days would have been counted down in the 1800s. They are a great way to involve younger members of the family in the joys and anticipation of the coming of Christmas. A daily build up until the excitement peaks on Christmas Eve! Or perhaps like some families, well ours really, (big kids that we are), you refer to “Christmas Eve eve in the morning and Christmas Eve eve in the afternoon” and so on. It just adds to the anticipated ‘Big Day’ feeling.

History the Advent

The history of Advent calendars owes much, as do many of our Christmas traditions, to the German culture. In fact the advent calendar was first noted in Lutheran (a branch of Protestantism in religious beliefs) practice in the 1800s. Then of course simpler means such as ‘chalking off’ the days were the practice. To some extent the means of marking off the days of advent depended on ones financial abilities. Candles were used by some but to light a new candle each day was costly. The chalk marking by comparison cheap but equally effective. Home made Advent calendars began appearing around 1850, with each day marked by a bible verse a sweet or a drawing.
The first commercial advent calendar was produced in 1903 when Gerhard Lang created the Munchener Weinachtskalender, (the Munich Christmas Calendar), his inspiration derived from his mothers home-made calendar of sweets hung on cardboard. Thus history was made and the advent calendars we are familiar with today were born. By 1914, Germany were exporting ornate Advent calendars in many themed designs. Popular were
winter town scenes, Christmas trees landscapes and Castles. Whilst there are varying claims as to what is the ‘right’ type of Advent calendar, in reality there is no right or wrong style.

Chocolate Advent Calendars

In the 1950s we began to see more in the ‘doors’ of advent calendars. Some were filled with chocolate whilst others concealed candy canes, fudge or even small toys. Whatever the exact date of these ‘new’ additions, the Advent calendar had begun to evolve into the wonderful prelude to
Christmas that we know today. For many children each day was a delight begun with a small piece of chocolate leading to thoughts of the wonders to come. Setting aside the right and proper meaning of Christmas and Advent, (Advent from the Latin, ‘adventus’, meaning coming), it is not surprising
that at a time where celebration is expected and anticipated with such fervour and spirit of wonder, that Chocolate should encapsulate some of that special, magical, seasonal meaning.

Our Advent Calendars

Diversifying is a must in this modern era and who could argue that our fabulous Time Machine advent calendar doesn’t ‘Think outside the Box’, no pun intended. A calendar with an aspect of thought to it as the recipient unlocks doors, having solved the symbol puzzle in order to do so. Not
only is it fun to uncover the next door to open but there is the rather nice chocolate treat hidden within. Fun and very satisfyingly tasty. Whats not to like?
If authentic German flavours are more to your taste then enjoy our Reber Adventskalender, which offers some rather lovely Marzipan and Praline chocolates. From a recipe dating back to 1865, Reber have certainly set the bar high with this calendar. If quality is your goal, look no further.No compilation of advent calendars would be complete without a much loved Liqueur sample. For the finery of Champagne, Gin and Vodka try out our Abtey calendar Happy Hour. Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face as the combination of fine chocolate and luxurious liqueur flavours graces
your palette. Last but not least, and certainly worthy of mention and tasting, we offer our Vegan, ‘Moo Free’ Calendar. Not only Vegan but Organic, free from gluten and Soya! This multi award winning calendar offers all the taste of premium milk chocolate without the use of dairy products. Deliciously tasty and ethically sourced and produced. A great taste, a great Calendar, a great gift.

Finally, acknowledging the input of Germany into Christmas and its many associated traditions, we are proud of the fact we have a family member of German origin, who provides a strong link to all that is best and wonderful of those traditions and delights. So no surprise then that when it comes to
Christmas, we are ahead of the times.

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