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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 authentic origins of the Christingle can be found on the website of the Moravian Church in the British Province.[2]

The history of the Christingle can be traced back to Bishop Johannes de Watteville, who started the tradition in Germany in 1747.[3] At that time it was just a red ruff wrapped around a candle.[3]

It was popularized in the United Kingdom by John Pensom in 1968.[3] He was raising funds for the charity The Children's Society.[3][4] In the 2000s over 5,000 Christingle services were being held in the UK every year.[3] In 2018, over 6,000 services were held for The Children's society. Each year Christingle raises over £1.2million to help vulnerable young people.[5]

This year, The Children’s Society has launched its #Christingle50 campaign, which includes festive services in schools and churches for the 50th year.[6]


A Christingle usually consists of:[1][3][4]

  • An orange, representing the world
  • A candle pushed into the centre of the orange, then lit, representing Jesus Christ as Light of the World
  • A red ribbon wrapped around the orange 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. Cloves can be added as well.

In 2006, Chelmsford Cathedral in the UK announced they would be replacing the candles with glowsticks.[7]



  1. ^ a b c "How to make a Christingle". Tees. BBC. 5 December 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Moravian Customs". The Moravian Church British Province.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b "What is Christingle?". The Children's Society. 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Sapsted, David (13 December 2006). "Cathedral puts out the flames of Christingle". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 December 2014.