In the Christian Church, Advent, not January, is the start of the new year. Advent is the four-week period before Christmas, and it is traditionally a time of hope, reflection, and anticipation of the upcoming holiday. We don’t promote any particular religion on this blog, but we do promote Bach, and the church calendar was very important to him. He wrote amazing music for all seasons of the liturgical year, and we listen to his Advent pieces each December.
Like Bach, Advent calendars started in Germany and then became world-famous. An Advent calendar is a box or a rectangular card with 24 or 25 flaps on the front. On every day of December up to and including Christmas Eve or Christmas, people open one flap to find a small gift inside. That gift is usually a toy or chocolate, but recent Advent calendars have included less conventional items such as candles or even beer.
Perhaps the most famous beer advent calendar is the Kalea Brewer’s Advent Calendar, which is available annually at Costco. We picked up the calendar earlier this year, and we’ll be blogging about it. During December, we’ll post descriptions of our favorite beers from the calendar and links to companion recordings of music. Until then, enjoy this video of Dorien Schouten performing Advent music Bach wrote for the organ: