Wednesday, 21 December 2016

lamp under a bushel

Having just learned of the name of the decoration myself through its gentle lampooning on BBC Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy, I appreciated reading more about the Christingle, featured as Atlas Obscura’s weekly object of intrigue. The comedian in the show could only justify adorning an orange with a red ribbon if one wanted to distinguish it from other oranges whilst one is attempting to retrieve it from the airport baggage claim conveyor belt.
Now we know, however, that a German Moravian (Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine) minister in the sixteenth century invented the Christingle as an allegorical device for children to teach them about Jesus—the red ribbon symbolising Christ’s blood and the candles’ flame representing enduring joy, the oranges being introduced later. The skewers of dried fruit or candies represent the bounty of the world and the four seasons. Also known for their advent stars, I wonder if this other Moravian tradition might spread as well, but perhaps not for all times and all occasions, like in the movie theatre—which the comedian above was reprimanded for by ushers for partaking in.