Living Advent Calendars – Where to find them:
The origin of the advent calendar – Around 1880 in Germany, a mother started wondering about what she could do to make the approaching of Christmas a bit more exiting for her kids, especially for her son Gerhard. She decided to make 24 cakes and put each one in a separate small package. The son was then to open one package each day starting from December 1st and eat the cookie inside it. When Gerhard Lang, that was his name, grew up and became a partner in a printing company, he decided to print a Christmas calendar based on his mother’s idea.
In 1920 the first Christmas calendar was printed and it quickly became a huge success. The first living Christmas calendar started in Sweden in the Old Town by Mäster Olofsgården, The German Church, Gamla stan sällskapet, Ingvar Tägström and Michael Djerks in 2005. Today the concept of the living Christmas calendar has spread to other countries too – see our top 5 picks:
1. Stockholm (Sweden) - The Living Advent Calendar taks place every year between December 1st to December 24:th. Every day a window is opened somewhere in the Old Town where there is a music performance together with an invited person telling a story or making a causerie.
2. Windsor (UK) - The Windsor and Eton Living Advent Calendar is a collaborative project run with Windsor and Eton Town Partnership, Windsor Observer and 24 local businesses to provide live entertainment every evening from 1 to 24 December 2014.
Like a children’s advent calendar, a different window or door is opened every evening at 6:15pm promptly and a 15 minute performance is given to the audience assembled outside each participating business.
Performances will range from songs, carols, music, poetry, book excerpts, creative arts, notes from local history or folklore, sketches and dance, all with a Christmas theme.
3. Reith (Austria) - From December 1st to Christmas Eve, the holiday village of Reith is transformed into a giant walk in Advent calendar. One of the residents opens one of their, "windows", and with it their kitchen! Guests are invited to keep up with the master of the house to enjoy mulled wine and cakes whilst listening to music and having a chat. All of the 24, “Advent windows”, remain lit after opening until January 6th. The Walk – in Advent Calendar takes place daily from December 1st to January 6th, between 17.00 - 22.00 hours.
4. Herzogenaurach (Germany) - Join the opening of the Living Advent Calendar on December 1, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. on the market square. Enjoy a little surprise for everybody on each day during Advent! The Advent calendar door on the big stage at the historic market square opens daily at 5:00 p.m. from December 1 - 23, as well as on December 24 at 12:00 noon. For about 15 to 20 minutes, a group of artists or children gives a thoughtful, poetic, funny or musical performance.
5. Milan (Italy) - A living musical advent calendar in Milan. Instead of cardboard windows, day after day, the windows of the buildings on the southern portico on the square of the Duomo will open to mark the anticipation of Christmas, with performances from a variety of different musicians.
Date Created: 17 December 2014 by Vittoria Soddu