Swiss man seeks Guinness record for tallest Finnish candle

A Swiss man is hoping to book a place in the Guinness book of records for making the world's tallest Finnish candle.

This content was published on April 18, 2001 - 08:07

It may seem odd that the four metre high Finnish candle - is not to be found in Finland but in a small Swiss village outside the capital city, Bern.

It stands proudly outside the workshop of 23-year-old Thomas Rindisbacher, who sells and fixes farming machinery.

He told swissinfo that the idea of making such a candle came to him out of the blue: "One night I decided to make the world's biggest Finnish candle. Our family owns a forest and makes them to sell or use at parties."

It took Rindisbacher and a colleague two days to make the candle, which consists of a wooden pole with six vertical holes, which must be drilled three-quarters of the way into the pole.

Another hole must be made near the base to permit oxygen to flow through the candle and feed the flames.

Rindisbacher says the Finnish candle has a special charm and is very popular at Swiss festivals and parties. Normal-sized candles can burn for up to three hours, although his masterpiece will take a full day to burn out.

Historically, the candles were used by the Finns to warm their hands, or heat a pot of coffee on the pole's head.

While Rindisbacher is heading for a place in the Guinness Book of Records, his ambitions have been somewhat more local.

"It's a big satisfaction to make the Guinness Book of Records," he said. "But for several years I've been looking to showcase an idea of mine on the popular German television programme 'Wetten Das' ('Bet on this')."

The Finnish candle is set to make its debut this summer, when Rindisbacher will light it at a Viking party he is planning to host.

by Samantha Tonkin

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