Christian Advent Calendars and Jesse Trees for kids in Chinese

中文華語基督降臨日曆

To Christians, Advent(將臨期/ 降臨期) is a a beautiful time of the year, a season that many of us Christians observe in the lead up to Christmas, the birth of Jesus, where we prepare our hearts and minds for the coming birth of Jesus at Christmas. This is a time for us to reflect and remember the true meaning of Christmas, and remember the most precious gift of all – Jesus.

Advent usually begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas day, although many Advent calendars start on December 1st.

Year Advent starts on Advent ends on
 2020 Sunday, November 29, 2020 Thursday, December 24, 2020
 2021 Sunday, November 28, 2021 Friday, December 24, 2021
 2022 Sunday, November 27, 2022 Saturday, December 24, 2022
 2023 Sunday, December 3, 2023 Sunday, December 24, 2023
 2024 Sunday, December 1, 2024 Tuesday, December 24, 2024
 2025 Sunday, November 30, 2025 Wednesday, December 24, 2025

Those of you who know our family, will know that we usually have our Advent activities and meditation conducted in English, but since last year, we have also incorporated Chinese into our observation of the season. If you are looking to do the same, here are  some resources that are available in Chinese, as well as some ideas how to include Cantonese or Chinese in Advent activities.

 

Chinese Advent Calendars (降臨日曆)

There are more and more Chinese advent calendars being developed, and suitable for young children. Simply pick one and go with it. Here are some to choose from

1. Knowing Jesus Advent Calendar and Nativity Advent Calendar

Each day reveals more about Jesus as well as a part of the nativity scene, so that the you have the full Nativity Scene by Christmas. The cards tell more about Jesus – he is our Protector, he is the Truth, he is the light, Jesus thinks I am important, Jesus loves. The link to the free printable is in the Facebook post. This is entirely in Traditional Chinese, even the instructions, though I think it is self explanatory.

2. ‘Names of Jesus’ Paper Chain Advent Calendar

This is a simple yet meaningful advent calendar, and is easy to do with your child. Each day, you add a chain and learn more about Jesus through his names in English and Chinese, and read the corresponding scripture verse. The link to the free printable is in the Facebook post. This is in Traditional Chinese only.

3. A-Bible-Verse-A-Day Advent in Chinese

Chalk Academy has a free printable bible verses based on the Preschool Devotion Book on her website.

(She has two DIY versions for an Advent calendar: Rainbow envelopes and Minimalist Drawers. They both link to the same verse printables in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and English)

 

4.  Our Christmas Tree 我們的聖誕樹 Chinese Advent Calendar

親子靈修︰「我們的聖誕樹」

 

This 109 page full colour booklet is available for free download from the website of Tai Po Wing Kwong Pentecostal Holiness Church (五旬節聖潔會大埔永光堂)  . It includes daily scripture reading, devotion and reflection, song prayer and activity for each of the 25 days. For native Chinese speakers, this is a great activity for parents and kids to do together It is entirely in Traditional Chinese.

(This type of Advent calendar is also considered a Jesse Tree)

 

 

 

4. Spot of Sunshine’s Chinese Advent Calendar Scripture Cards/聖誕降臨經文卡

This is the first Chinese advent calendar that I have found last year.  I love this. It is a reading plan with a Chinese character and the related scripture it represents (in both English and Chinese), taking you through the life of Christ.  The versions are bilingual and include English and either Traditional Chinese or Simplified Chinese, and with and without pinyin./ zhuyin. The link above will bring you to her website and instructions on how you can purchase this from her Etsy store. I highly recommend this.

5. Christmas Bible Verse Advent Calendar

Twenty-five Christmas Ornaments, with bible verses about the Christmas story, taken from the Gospels. In Traditional Chinese only.

 

 

6.  Catholic Chinese Advent calendar

If you are Catholic, this advent calender might suit you. Shared by Father 陳德雄 from Hong Kong on his Facebook page. The theme is Jesus Gives Us Peace. There are also 2019 and 2018 calendars and he also has colouring sheets.

 

Adapt existing Advent Calendars

You don’t have to create something from scratch. If the ones above do not suit your needs, there are plenty of Advent calendars in other languages. If you already have an existing advent calendar, be it scripture cards, or a booklet, just add (at least some) Chinese translation to it. Or choose an advent calendar that has been generously made available to you online by so many – it may be a scripture reading a day, activities, prayer guide, there are plenty of choices! For bible verses, you can translate them with Bible Gateway. (This is also a good way to learn more Chinese Christian terminology, if you are not familiar with them.). Here are some examples:

 

1. Jesse Tree (耶西樹)

中英雙語基督降臨日曆

Last year, we had wanted to observe Advent with a Jesse Tree. A Jesse Tree Advent tells the story of God’s plan for salvation,  with illustrated ornaments to represent the people, prophesies, and events leading up to the birth of Jesus.

We would like to have a bilingual version, but could not find one online. What we did was to create printables in Chinese to accompany the one that we found.

The free printables, as well as more about the Jesse tree origins and what we did, can be found in this blogpost Observing Advent – Our Bilingual Chinese-English Jesse Tree (耶西樹)

 

2. The Jesus Storybook Bible Advent

Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Calendar devotion

This is another advent calendar that is easy to adapt if you have a Chinese bible and the Chinese version of The Jesus Storybook Bible (故事聖經).

Every year at least for the past few years,  The Jesus Storybook Bible has had a companion advent guide available for free download.

For the 2020 version, there is a beautifully illustrated ornament card for each day, to be coloured in. Each references the corresponding Scriptures and the story in The Jesus Storybook Bible. Although the Advent guide is in English, you can use the Chinese bible and the Chinese version of The Jesus Storybook Bible (故事聖經) as an accompaniment.

(Pix is of 2019 Advent calendar)

 

3. Adapt any resource you have e.g. A Scripture Verse a Day Advent / Activity Advent

There are lots of advent calendar bible-verse-a-day in English, and possibly other languages. Choose what suits you – do you want bible reading that is based on the life of Jesus, or the miracle of Christmas, or the story of God? Or would you prefer an Advent calendar that has activity card suggestions or prayer recommendations for each day? Just google and pick the ones that suit your need, and add Chinese to it. If you are not fluent enough, do the bible readings in Chinese.

Pop them in a ready made Advent calendar with little pockets, or drawers, or create an Advent calendar with envelopes, socks or more. 

 

How are you observing Advent this Christmas Season?

Are you having an Advent calendar this year? Please share what you are doing this Advent!

 

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