An Advent calendar is a special calendar which is used to count down the 24 days to Christmas and its origins were based in the Christian faith but are equally in use as a secular means to mark the days to the festive celebration.
Most advent calendars are made for children and take the form of a large rectangular card with many “windows”, one of which is opened every day during Advent. Behind each window is often a chocolate item or a very small gift.
The German Lutherans at the beginning of the 19th Century are believed to have been the originators of the Advent calendar, and would simply draw a chalk line on the door at the beginning of the day throughout December. Some other families would light a candle and this tradition is still observed by some people.