did you know? / festivals and traditions

Waiting for Christmas: the Advent calendar

An Advent calendar (from the Latin “adventus“, meaning “coming“) is a calendar used to count the days before Christmas Eve starting from December 1st. In the past people would draw a line on their doors with chalk to keep track of the days left to Christmas.

An advent calendar is made up of a rather large cardboard  with a Christmas-related image and 24 “windows”, one for each day until December 24th. You open a window every day to reveal a small “gift” behind it: it can be a sentence, a short poem, an image or in some elaborate calendars even a piece of chocolate or a small toy!

The tradition of the advent calendar began over a century ago in Germany, although nowadays they can be found in most European countries and in America.

If you want to experience this day by day opening of a new window  there is a very interesting site containing lots of interesting information about Christmas and an online advent calendar. I’m afraid you won’t find any chocolate… but every day you will learn how Christmas is celebrated in a different country of the world!

Have fun using this interactive advent calendar at



2 thoughts on “Waiting for Christmas: the Advent calendar

  1. I have known this tradition since i was in the second class in my school in Otranto because my teacher used to bring this calendar and each day one of us would open a new window. A very original way, in my opinion, to wait for Christmas! 🙂

  2. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s