Luminaries were introduced by Spanish missionaries more than four hundred years ago. The idea behind this lovely tradition is that the luminaries would light the way for Mary and Joseph as they made their way to the inn. Our old neighborhood had a tradition of lining all the streets with paper bag luminaries on Christmas eve. It was a beautiful, touching, and quiet way to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I came up with my own version by simply freezing buckets of water. Here’s how…
First, pick a bucket that the bottom is a little narrower than the top. Fill the bucket with water. Set the bucket outside overnight. If the temperature is about 15F the luminaries will be just about the right thickness. If it is too warm it probably just won’t work. : ( If it very cold you might only need to keep the buckets outside for five or six hours.
The water will freeze around the sides and over the top. You dump the bucket before it is frozen solid. The water in the middle will leave a well space and you have a large votive candle holder made out of ice.
Add a candle. I found large pillar candles at the thrift store to complete my project.