From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Christingles prepared for a Moravian service

A Christingle is a symbolic object, 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]

The authentic origins of the Christingle can be found on the website of the Moravian Church in the British Province:

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, or a paper frill around the candle, 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 candle pushed into the centre of the orange, then lit, representing Jesus Christ as Light of the World.
  • Aluminium foil, representing the metal nails driven into Christ's hands and feet during his crucifixion.

Recent Developments[edit]

In 2006 Chelmsford Cathedral in the UK, 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.