The Advent season starts and with it all the usual nice traditions are repeated every year.
In Switzerland there is a nice one, which consists of making candles or, as it sounds in German…pulling candles (Kerzenziehen).
In this period of the year a lot of cities or villages offer this possibility: you can make candles in some spaces normally belonging to the church or in some special tents temporarily installed in central squares for this purpose.
You are given a string (you can choose its length) and then you find some hot kettles with different compartments full of liquid wax of different colours where to insert the strings. After soaking the string inside the kettle, a little layer of wax adheres to the string. Then you have to cool it down into a water tank to “fix” the wax. By repeating this operating many (many many many!!!) times, you get your coloured candle. Depending on the colour you choose and the soaking depth of your string into the liquid wax, you can create nice colour combinations, stripes, and so on.
After your hard work, you go back to the counter with quite coloured trousers (especially if your kids where the ones making the candles…) and your proud candle. The person at the counter cuts the base of your candle straight (normally the candles I saw were looking more like carrots rather than wax “sculptures”!), to let it stand properly, and you pay by weight. Quite convenient exercise: the price we found was 100 g for 2.50 CHF!
This interesting activity is of course mainly addressed to the kids, to have a nice (and warm) entertainment in winter.
However, you can always find lovely parents which are also competing for the “best candle of the world”.
Either instructing their pupils in a more passionate way than a coach during a soccer world cup final or directly participating in this special “hobby” and trying to get a candle which seems…a baseball bat rather than a pretty and cosy table decoration!