Have you, like me, always adored Advent Calendars? I picked up this little snippet from the Serif newsletter, and I think it's fascinating, so just had to share:
The origins of the Advent calendar come from German Lutherans who, at least as early as the beginning of the 19th century, would count down the 24 days of Advent by drawing a chalk line on the door each day, beginning on the 1st of December. Some families would light a new candle (perhaps the genesis of today's Advent wreath) or hang a religious picture on the wall each day.Here's a link to the Richard Sellmer Advent Calendar Museum.
The first known Advent calendar was handmade in 1851 and it's believed that a Swabian parishioner, Gerhard Lang, was responsible for the first printed calendar, in 1908. Lang made 24 little coloured pictures that could be fixed to a piece of cardboard. Several years later, he introduced a calendar with 24 little doors. He created and marketed at least 30 designs before his firm went out of business in the 1930s.
In this same time period, the Sankt Johannis Printing Company started producing religious Advent calendars, with Bible verses instead of pictures behind the doors.
Advent Calendars disappeared during World War II, in order to save paper. After the war, Richard Sellmer of Stuttgart resurrected the commercial Advent calendar and is responsible for its widespread popularity. His company, Richard Sellmer Verlag, today supplies a stock of over 1,000,000 calendars worldwide.
Here are some great fun links, whilst we're on the subject...
- A sweet article by Woodlands Junior School (who also have a fun link for an interactive calendar that you can play with).
A link for an Advent paper chain (good fun for keeping kids quiet and occupied).
- Create your own virtual on-screen snowflake.
- A wonderful (safe) New England screensaver with snow, downloadable from CNet.
Chesnuts roasting on an open fire...
Jack Frost nipping at your nose....
I'm really beginning to feel Christmassy as last!