Christmas Candle Pyramid

A Christmas pyramid is an ornate piece of artwork. The pyramids propellers move once you light the candles on the bottom. There are different names for the Christmas pyramid including German pyramid, Windrädchen, candle carousel, and light stock.There is a central rod which is connected to a fan at the top. Heat and wind  causes the fan to move. Once the fan is in motion it moves figurines that are placed beautifully on different levels.

The history of the pyramid stems from a Pre-industrialization age. Its structure originated from the windmill, which was made in Persia. It is believed that the design of the windmill migrated with the crusaders back to Europe. The pyramid has the same concept as a windmill, having different levels of tiers and a propeller. The center tier is stationary, this is crucial to the design. The outer tier turns as you get higher. This decorations visuals are constantly changing. This decoration is mostly replicated at Christmas and also can be a paradise candle pyramid and a lawn whirlygig.

The German candle pyramid represents a tiered item with figurines that dramatize a theme. The first candle pyramids used visualizations to teach bible stories.  This was before books where used in homes. Families used to put on plays to tell stories. Later they turned the characters from the play into figurines to symbolize the characters. They  placed the figurines in order on 1- 5 tiers. Once the candles are lit, the tiers would rotate telling a story.

Some candle pyramids are simple and tell one scene from a story, but others are complicated and tell a whole story. An example of this is found in Christmas candle pyramids. Sometimes a Christmas candle pyramid tells  the story of the nativity.

The earliest Bible story even told on a candle pyramid is the story of Adam and Eve. This story would usually be told at the beginning of Advent and is where the classical tier originated. Most candle pyramids are shaped like a tree symbolizing the tree of good and evil. Also there is a ball at the top of the pyramid, that symbolizes the forbidden fruit.

When the Christmas holiday started to be celebrated the story of paradise was replaced by the Christ child story. Children started to decorate their candle pyramids with tinsel and paper ornaments. The origination of the modern Christmas tree is believed to come from candle carousels. today the candle carousels demonstrate paradise, the Christmas story, and people merrily caroling.

The candle pyramids range in size. Some having an A frame exterior, some having 1- 2 levels, others having many tiers. The largest candle pyramid is found Dresden, Germany. Citizens take out the pyramid at the Christkindl Celebration called Striezelmarkt.  The pyramid is 45 feet tall and has 5 levels. The majority of candle pyramids are 2 feet tall or less and can be table top decorations. Candle pyramids can frequently be found at Christkindl markets or imported from Germany.

One thought on “Christmas Candle Pyramid”

  1. The one you all have was originally ours and your Mom liked it so we gave it to you all. Always enjoyed it, but didn’t know the history. Glad you researched it. Very interesting.

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