Vancouver, B.C., November 27, 2019

Since the "advent calendar" is not so well known in North America we put together a few more information about this tradition started in the 19th century.

The advent calendar was created in the course of the 19th century in the German-speaking world and had many precursors, which emerged more or less simultaneously in different places. While Advent in the Catholic Church was deepened by daily Advent sermons in the Catholic Church at that time, the gathering and contemplation within the family took place in Protestant families. Biblical passages were read out, verses recited, prayers prayed together, and songs were sung in prayer.

Since time is an abstract entity and especially hard to grasp for children, roughly around 1840, parents began to devise different ways to make their children's time more visible and to highlight the special and festive nature of Advent. Thus, families gradually hung 24 pictures with Christmas motifs on the wall or on the window. In another variant, the parents painted 24 chalk strokes - Sundays with longer or colored strokes - on cabinet doors or door sills. The children were then allowed to wipe out a line every day.

Small fir trees served as "Advent trees". Every day, with bible versed, small flags or stars were hung on the tree. In some families, a new candle was added daily and lit. The increase of light as a symbol of the imminent arrival of the light of the world, Jesus Christ.

In some Catholic areas, the children were allowed to put a straw or a feather into the crib for good deeds (!) Every day, so that the baby Jesus may lie beautifully soft. Even today, this practice is used in some monastic schools.

In Austria, resourceful parents created the "Himmelsleiter" (a ladder to heaven) a special form of an advent calendar. The Christ-child descending daily rung by rung illustrates the idea that God is coming to earth at Christmas.

In Scandinavia, a candle was divided into 24 sections and burned down a little bit more each day. Towards the end of the 19th century, creative parents made so-called Christmas clocks on which a circular disc with 12 or 24 divisions of the hands could be taken one step further each day. The subdivisions were provided with lyrics or Bible verses. 

Later, as the Christmas season was more and more used commercially, images were replaced by sweets such as chocolate. 

The Advent calendar became a timepiece of the days until Christmas Eve to illustrate children the time remaining and to increase the anticipation of Christmas. With our HUSS Incense calendar, you have the chance to burn one incense cone every day from the first of December to Christmas Eve. The various styles are described so that they can easily identify your favorite.

Enjoy the different senses and let us know your favourite.

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