Monday, December 06, 2010

December 6th: I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

As the angels sing and the bells ring... the Light of the World dispels the darkness of night.
(Click picture to enlarge)
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"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on Earth, good will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men"

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Origin of the Christmas Pyramid is said to go back to the 16th to 18th century when German miners from the Erzgebirge are created Lichtergestelle (light-racks) to dispel the darkness. At first they simply tied several wooden sticks together at the top and decorated them with candles, but skilled craftsmen from the Erzgebirge were not satisfied with the rather basic light-rack. They looked for something with more perfection and animation so in the middle of the rack they inserted a wooden rod to which a small metal dish was fastened. Beautiful wood figurines were carved by hand, painted and placed on the dish and a propeller of light wood was attached to the top of the wooden rod. The rising heat from the candles powers the propeller. This is often said to have been the forerunner of the Christmas tree and the elaborate Pyramids of today.

Most of the scenes depicted are religious in nature and some of the larger and multi-tiered pyramids show scenes including the nativity, angels and even large intricately carved cathedrals. My brother brought this one-tiered pyramid from Germany when he first traveled there. The angels have trumpets to herald the Christ child's birth. A short mallet extends from the center rod and as the propeller turns it gently strikes the glass bells producing a lilting tinkling sound that is simply lovely. These are fascinating to watch, particularly at night when the candles give off such a lovely glow that is reflected on the angels faces.

(end of post)
Carmi's Theme ~ Night


kenju said...

I have admired them, but didn't know the history - so I am appreciative of finding out their origins.

sandra said...

I am singing the song, be glad you can't here me. haha love the song and since i love all things candle and glass, love the whole post. I like the sparkle of the candlelight on the glass bells

utenzi said...

I was playing with exposure times for candle flames this weekend. I was having good results with 1/6 but since I was doing it handheld many shots were blurry.

Carmi said...

You've captured such a remarkable glow here that it's difficult to believe there isn't something beyond-optical going on here. I love the sentiment and the history behind the shot almost as much as the shot itself!

Ginny Hartzler said...

<span>Oh, this is just beautiful! I love the pretty and delicate glass bells, so timy! This info is very interesting! I had one growing up, it was a brass colored metal. And I've seen some wooden ones, but this is my favorite, such a nice surprise when your blog opened up! I've had a busy day sorry I'm so late commenting, I'm late in quite a few comments.</span>

Rambling Woods said...

I also enjoyed the information...I do love this time of year and sharing in everyone's traditions and memories...

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