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Title: Christingle  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Advent, Christmas, Advent calendar, Christkind, Moravian Church
Collection: Advent, Christian Terminology, Moravian Church, Oranges
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


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]


  • History 1
  • Construction 2
  • Recent Developments 3
  • References 4


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

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. 
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