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What is an Advent calendar?

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Quick Answer

An Advent calendar is a ornate calendar constructed with fabric or paper that contains small, numbered flaps that serve as a countdown during the Advent season leading up to Christmas Day on December 25. Most Advent calendars are based on 24 days from December 1 to December 24.

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Full Answer

Each flap on an Advent calendar reveals the day of the month and often has a piece of candy, a treat or a special message related to the holidays. The Advent calendar originated in Germany in the 19th century, and it originally included the tradition of lighting a candle or marking off the days on a chalkboard.

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