The Christingle Tradition
The orange represents the world
The candle represents Jesus, the Light of the World
The red ribbon represents Jesus' blood, shed when He died for us
The four cocktail sticks represent the four seasons and the four directions - everywhere, all year round
The nuts and fruit represent the fruits of the earth (sometimes these are replaced with sweets)
The tradition is thought to have started in Germany in 1747 when minister wanted to encourage children to think about the real meaning of Christmas.
He gave each child a candle with a red ribbon around it. This represented Jesus, the Light of the World and the final prayer in the service was that a flame would be kindled in the children's hearts so that became more like Jesus.
Over the years the custom has developed into what is shown here and is common today, bringing to our hope for Christmas a reminder of Easter.
The Christingle tradition has been used in the UK by The Children's Society as a focus for fundraising, the first Christingle service for this purpose being held in a Church of England in 1968 .
Clicking on the image to the left will take you to the Children's Society website where you can find out more about Christingle and the work they do.