Christmas pyramids - The seventeenth door

Last year I told you about the tradition of candle arches and got a comment about a pyramid. I promised to talk about those pyramids this year.
Christmas pyramids - which actually don't have a real pyramid shape, but are more like a carousel - are a very old tradition that comes from the Ore Mountains, just like candle arches.
They are said to be inspired by the capstans that were used to pump water and that were decorated with evergreen branches at Christmas time. Although many of us only connect them with Christmas, there were light pyramids for other occasions as well.

The pyramids are made from wood and often have several levels which show the story of Christ's birth, the nativity scene, the shepherds, the Magi, angels, and more, but there are also pyramids showing woodland scenes or other things.
The heat from the candles rises up and makes the paddles on the rod turn. The rod attached to the propeller is connected to one or more of the plates which then also turn.


Nowadays there are not only the small pyramids that are used as a decoration in the house, but also large outdoor pyramids which are set up in market squares, for example during the popular Christmas markets. One example, the Dresden Christmas pyramid is 85 ft high!

Of course again I have only been scratching the surface with this little post. You'll have to forgive me, but real life wants its part of me, too.
If you want to read more and see pictures, please check out the links below!




  1. Cat, I love these posts. I always learn something interesting.

    1. I'm glad you like them. I even learn new words, both in English and German! :-D

  2. My mother just gave me one that a friend brought back from Germany in the 80s. It's not as elaborate as the one in the picture, but is beautiful.

    1. I believe that. I wish I could put on up, but candles and my cats don't go together ...

  3. I never heard of those, love the one in the photo!
    I will go and check out your link to learn more about them.

    1. That's a real beauty in the picture, isn't it?

  4. How interesting. Cat, thanks to your research I continue to learn new things.

    The pyramid in the photo reminds me of a windmill except that it's not tilted the same way. Beautiful!