Advent calendars with quotes from the Bible came into being at the end of the 19th century. Today they serve as a way for people, especially children, to count down the days in December until Christmas. There are colorful images behind the doors of this Advent calendar from 1964.
The 1950s heralded Advent calendars filled with chocolate. Some parents warn their children not to open up all the doors at once, "Otherwise, Santa Claus won't come!"
But be careful with the chocolate calendars: Berlin-based consumer protection magazine "Stiftung Warentest," checked out a range of them and found mineral oil in some of the sweets. Maybe it's better to give children an Advent calendar with pictures?
Some families make their own calendars, filling them with little presents and sweets.
Decorations and Advent calendars also adorn offices and schools in the Christmas season. Constructions workers in Freiburg created this calendar with plastic foam blocks.
Many cities compete with each other: here a huge Advent calendar hangs in the middle of the central German town of Osterode, above the Christmas market. The colorful calendar, at 27 x 8 meters (89 x 26 feet), has landed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Regardless of what kind of Advent calendar hangs on the wall, Christmas is one day closer with each door opened up. And after a month of little surprises, who knows what the New Year will bring?
Whether they're filled with chocolates or pretty winter pictures, German shops have been flooded with Advent calendars. Starting December 1, little doors will be opened across the country.