What is Advent and what does it mean? What you need to know about this time of the year

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What is Advent?
(Picture: Getty)

Most of us have excitedly ripped open the first door of our advent calendars this morning (or all of them, because chocolate). But what is advent, and where did it come from?

The days counting down to Christmas were first marked off with chalk on believers’ doors. However, the first advent calendar was made in Germany in the 19th century, when the mother of a child named Gerhard Lang made her son a calendar made up of 24 tiny sweets stuck onto a sheet of cardboard.

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