I was out grocery shopping today when i saw that a couple of shops already had Advent Calenders for sale, that started me wondering where the tradition first started. So when I got home I googled it, did you know the tradition of Advent Calenders first started in Germany?
Advent is actually the four week period beginning the Sunday nearest the feast day of St. Andrew (an Apostle) which is on the 30th of November, going through the next three Sundays. The word Advent is from the Latin word for coming, and has been celebrated since the fourth century (according to historians). The time was originally for converts to Christianity to prepare for baptism, but in more modern history is commonly associated with the lead up to the anniversary of Christ's birth, Dec 25.
Calendars don't typically follow the period of Advent as described. They start on December 1st continuing till the 24th. They include paper doors to reveal a picture, religious verse or a toy or chocolate.
Historically the tradition dates to the 19th century, German Protestants made chalk marks on the doors or lit candles in the count down to Christmas.
The first known Advent Calendar which was made by hand is from the year 1851.
The first commercial Calendar was produced by Gerhard Lang somewhere between 1903 and 1908 but didn't have the little doors. It was inspired by one his mother had made for him and featured 24 "Wibbele" (little candies) that attached to a piece of carboard. Lang modified his at the beginning of the 20th century to include little doors that are still featured on modern day Calendars. The Calendars became a commercial success in Germany, and The Advent Calendar`s popularity started to spread round the globe.
However production had to stop during WWII when cardboard was rationed and it was forbidden to produce calendars with pictures. After the war Richard Sellmer emerged as the leading producer of commercial calendars.
In the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961) is credited with the spread of the popularity of the Advent calendar. During his presidency, he was photographed opening a calendar with his grandkids and the photo ran in several national newspapers.
Commercial Advent Calendars filled with Chocolate was already available in 1958.
Advent Calendars are a great gift for friends, loved ones and even your clients. As the holidays approach marketers are looking for ways to connect with their clients and keep themselves in the clients minds as they are looking for gifts. This gives you the whole month of December to connect with clients with content they return to each day, engaging consumers and showing their holiday spirit.
Many people associate advent calendars with positive emotions and memories of the holidays, making this format a great tool to be used in any holiday marketing strategy. One great way this is done is by adding a code in each window for clients to enter on your website where they are in with a chance to win a great prize or discounts over the course of 24 days.
Following tradition our custom branded calendars are still made in Germany. Lead times are four to six weeks so make sure to enquire now to avoid disappointing your clients.
Information taken from mentalfloss.com and luxurydaily.com