It may lack some charm on a wet winter’s night, but it isn’t in Judo. If you walk the streets of the small town on the Danube, you will see more and more shining windows and houses as Christmas Eve approaches. It has been held in Gödö for three years now Direct Admission Calendar Project, in which the homes of the participating families take turns to dress in festive clothes according to the days of the advent calendar, with the exact day displayed by a number. In addition to the lights, the residents of the next house usually entertain their neighbors and passers-by. The main thing is not the decoration, but the gathering of neighbors in the yard or in front of the gate. People who rush across each other on their way to work every day can now enjoy the joy of the moment. No invitations, no groups, just random encounters and open hearts.
Three years ago, Master Monica brought this custom to Jude, who had seen the idea in a village near Gyor NLC said Zsuzsanna Rezneki, One of the organizers of the Living Advent Calendar. – He started recruiting people, and I became one of the most active, as director of one of the largest Gödi groups, Gödi Jó Arcok. Every day we sent a card with a riddle in the form of a poem, and people had to find out from this letter where the next home of the advent calendar was that day. We posted puzzles every day and the initiative has been very successful. Then, starting last year, graphic designer Lilla Veres-Lukács took over the graphic part of the project, and this year he’s also producing the cards.”
According to Zsuzsanna, at the beginning of December, the excitement of waiting becomes a real community experience in Gödö, and now—since many cities don’t have the financial resources to provide a festive atmosphere with decorative lighting—residents can do it themselves. Jodo’s first live advent calendar was during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people couldn’t even meet their relatives for Christmas – this unifying strength of the community made the initiative very successful in the first year, and its popularity has remained unbroken ever since.
“One month before Advent, we gather those who want to join, then each person gets a number, and from then on, as their day comes, they light the exact calendar day number on their house, window, or garden gate from dusk until 8 p.m., and the number lasts until December 24, and it will light up Introducing the organizer. – In addition, everyone decides for themselves how to decorate the house. Every year it became more and more tradition that the current inhabitants of the neighboring house should wait for those who came here with some kind of delicacy, wine, tea, cake or sugar shop. Since the distances in Gödö are so large, Advent windows are opened separately in several parts of the city. It’s very atmospheric, the way the lights and colorful projectors paint the houses and turn them into a calendar. Many people report how nice it is to meet the set numbers on the way home from work, daycare or school in the afternoon, stop in front of the house, have a drink and meet distant neighbors. The adults will be captivated by the community and the treasure-hunting and puzzle-solving part, while the kids will be more interested in the holiday lights.”
Live Calendar Project
living advent calendar His idea originally came from the UK Mental Health Association. The project started in London in 2015, and has since produced many similar community art projects across the UK – spreading creativity and bringing people together across the country. The idea was conceived with mental health in mind, as loneliness can be a particularly heavy burden around Christmas, when it seems like everyone else is partying with friends and family. A sense of community is an important dimension of protecting mental health. As part of the project, volunteers from 24 local homes and community centers step forward to light their windows with festive lights or decorate them with various scenes each December. Every day between December 1 and 24, a window “opens” and lights up until midnight. It’s not a competition, and you don’t have to be particularly artistic — the focus is on fun and community.
With the idea quickly spreading around the world thanks to various organisations, by 2016 the first Advent windows and “sidewalk parties” appeared in Hungary as well as in smaller settlements. According to Emami, the windows of the luminous advent calendar were first opened in Solymar in 2016, and since then hundreds of municipalities have joined the grassroots initiative and it has grown to a national scale. The Living Advent Calendar also has a multi-year tradition in Szentendré, where every day of December 1 a different local resident decorates his window and displays a lit number of the Advent calendar, so that all the houses participating in it are lit at the same time on Christmas Eve. You can track what day and where the decorated window lights up on a map in a Facebook event. The coded message hidden in the poems and topographical figures is precisely the invention of the Judi people.
Overtures of love in Judo
In addition to the living advent calendar, there are other gestures of love in Jodo at this time of year. One of these is Urumsuti, started by Giuricha Nikih, under which they have been taking home-baked cookies to various establishments for years, such as old people’s homes, or to a special home Christmas event. Another charitable initiative is the Gödi Anyák Angyalai Christmas Angels project organized by Renáta Percze and Zsuzsanna Rezneki. With the help of nannies, kindergartens, schools and the Bolgodságcseppek Foundation, volunteers are looking for “angels” for children of disadvantaged families who fulfill the children’s wishes. “The children draw what they would like to receive from the angel, and we try to fulfill everyone’s request and then hand out the gifts. This year, the angels received more than 20 requests.” Zsuzana says.
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