DK | EN
The motif Christmas, Christmas tree in HCA : The Little Match Girl (1845)
H.C. Andersen-centret ved Syddansk Universitet. Hjemmesiden er en base for forskning, tekster og information om og af H.C. Andersen. Man kan finde materialer om (nøgleordene) eventyr, forfatter, litteratur, børnelitteratur, børnebøger, undervisning, studie, Victor Borge, HC Andersen, H. C. Andersen, liv, værk, tidstavle og biografi, citater, drømme, FAQ, oversættelse, bibliografi, anmeldelser, quiz, børnetegninger, 2005 og manuskripter
The Hans Christian Andersen Center

The motif Christmas, Christmas tree in HCA : The Little Match Girl (1845)

Skip over navigation and news

Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

Keywords:

Feast, Christmas tree

Description of this motif: The church has celebrated Christmas since the 4th century, at the same as and replacing the former roman solstice ceremony. This history of Christmas plays no significant role in the context of Hans Christian Andersen, where modern customs are described, as for example in "The Fir Tree" and "The Little Match Girl", and where the Christian story about the birth of Jesus (Luke 2) is the feast's religious core.

Example 1:

She rubbed another match against the wall. It became bright again, and in the glow the old grandmother stood clear and shining, kind and lovely.

"Grandmother!" cried the child. "Oh, take me with you! I know you will disappear when the match is burned out. You will vanish like the warm stove, the wonderful roast goose and the beautiful big Christmas tree!"

And she quickly struck the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother with her. And the matches burned with such a glow that it became brighter than daylight. Grandmother had never been so grand and beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and both of them flew in brightness and joy above the earth, very, very high, and up there was neither cold, nor hunger, nor fear-they were with God.

Example 2:

She lighted another match. Then she was sitting under the most beautiful Christmas tree. It was much larger and much more beautiful than the one she had seen last Christmas through the glass door at the rich merchant's home. Thousands of candles burned on the green branches, and colored pictures like those in the printshops looked down at her. The little girl reached both her hands toward them. Then the match went out. But the Christmas lights mounted higher. She saw them now as bright stars in the sky. One of them fell down, forming a long line of fire.

Comment on this quote: When the girl pigen burns the third match, her gaze turns upwards at the meeting with the Christmas tree, from hallucinating food and warmth to the hope of and faith in something higher, someting spritual. This is not just a hallucination that fades away, but a vision, that draws her attention to the reality at hand, a reality that is also spiritual.
  top Top