We’re having a German-style Christmas in which the 13th-Century Advent Calendar is used to determine a formal count-down to Christmas. A little activity is carried out and a treat given on each day preceding Christmas Day, December 25th. Normally this custom is dedicated to children who, for obvious reasons relish in the fun, but since the concept of the seven-plus century-old Advent as a countdown through the holiday season is not well-known here, it works equally well for adults, too!! Great fun.
The First Advent technically falls on the first Sunday in December, and it is on this day that the Christmas tree with all its lights, decorations and cards are put up and sent out. This year the First Advent was Sunday December 3rd and on that day by regulation all the decorations went up at my English conversation school in Kotoen スミス英会話 甲東園校. From here on, presents begin to accumulate around and under the tree, so you see the obvious dichotomy between this custom and the one about Santa Claus climbing down the chimney. Great if you have a chimney, but homes in Japan do not and that has unfortunately presented Santa Claus with undue challenges.
In 2011, the First Advent was on Sunday December 4th which was particularly auspicious because there could be only three Advents that year …… Christmas Day was the Fourth Advent by definition. Check your calendar! Christmas Day was on a Sunday last year!
Martin Werner Zander
Smith’s School in Kotoen 月謝制 Monthly Tuition English Conversation School