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A Christingle

A Christingle is a symbolic object, related to the pomander, used in the Advent services of many Christian denominations.

Christingle means 'Christ Light' and is used to celebrate Jesus Christ as the "Light of the World".[1]

Used primarily for Advent and Christmas, it is also used for Epiphany.[1]


The history of the Christingle can be traced back to John de Watteville, who started the tradition in Germany in 1747.[2] At that time it was just a ribbon wrapped around a candle.[2]

It was popularized in the United Kingdom by John Pensom in 1968.[2] He was raising funds for the Children's Society charity.[2] In the 2000s over 5,000 Christingle services were being held in the UK every year.[2]


A Christingle usually consists of:[1][2]

  • An orange, representing the world,
  • A red ribbon wrapped around it, representing the blood of Christ,
  • Dried fruits and/or sweets skewered on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons.
  • A lit candle pushed into the centre of the orange, representing Jesus Christ as Light of the World.
  • Tin foil, representing the metal nails driven into Christ's hands and feet during his crucifixion.

In 2006 Chelmsford Cathedral announced they would be replacing the candles with glowsticks.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "How to make a Christingle". BBC Tees. 5 December 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Christingle: The Christmas tradition that only got going in the 1960s". BBC News. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  3. ^ David Sapsted (13 December 2006). "Cathedral puts out the flames of Christingle". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 December 2014.