Holidays Christmas & Advent Culture & Science

Candle in a Nutshell – Czech Christmas Tradition

Czech families place a small candle in a walnut shell for each member and let the candles float on water on the Christmas Day and Eve.

Floating Candles

Our forefathers though the Christmas Eve to be the most magical night of the year. And as such it was the ideal time for predictions. One of the methods of predicting one’s future was floating a candle in a walnut shell in a small basin. And so if the candle stayed at the edge, it meant that person wouldn’t leave the household in the upcoming year. If it floated away, they would leave (or the young girl would get married). If it sank, the persons efforts would be in vain and if it floated towards the other end but let some water in, the person would have reached it’s objective but only with great effort. The best outcome was if all the candles formed a circle and stayed together. Then the whole family would live together in harmony for another year.

Today the floating candles have become more of a family fun, especially if there are children.

How to make your floating candle

You’ll need half a walnut shell and a candle for each member of the family. Everyone has to make theirs alone. Light the candle and let some of the wax drip inside the shell. While the wax is still liquid, put the candle in it and wait until is solidifies – that’s how you attach it. Then fill a small basin or a bucket with water, light your candle and let it float.

Do you want to know more about Czech Christmas traditions? Browse the Christmas category!


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