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Glistenarias—easy-to-make ice lanterns to brighten your holiday table, apartment window or front yard. And to help light the world.

You can create a Glistenaria in about five minutes by making a simple mold to freeze water in. These Glistenarias last for hours or days and radiate and magnify light in ways similar to a Fresnel lens in a lighthouse lamp.

Image: Glistenaria grouping 

Method One

1. Find a saucepan or pot, or a half-gallon or larger plastic tub for a mold.

2. Fill with water.

3. Put in freezer—or outside if it’s cold enough—for 4-8 hours, depending on the size of the container and how cold your freezer or the outside air is.

4. When there’s still a large interior area of unfrozen water, put the mold in a warm place for a half hour or so.

5. With a hammer and ice pick or screwdriver, carefully knock through the top of the ice—starting in the center. Make a hole wider than your fist and then pour out the water.

6. Put a tealight or other free-standing candle in the cavity. Voilà—a Glistenaria.


Method Two

1. Find a round half-gallon or gallon container (e.g., an ice cream tub or a large coffee can) and a smaller sturdy round container, such as a quart-size yoghurt tub.

2. Fill the smaller container with stones—or anything else heavy—and center it in the larger container. Fill the space between the containers with water and put the whole assembly in a freezer. Or outside overnight if it’s cold enough.

3. After about 6–7 hours or more take the mold out and let it sit for about a half hour. Pour COLD water (hot water will crack the ice) over the mold until the ice cylinder slips free of the containers. Put a tea light in the middle of the cylinder and voilà again.

(With either method, don’t use an insulated container, such as an ice bucket, for the inner or outer mold. The insulation will make slipping the ice cylinder out impossible.)

You can easily make much larger glistenarias to put in your yard by following the same procedure as above with a large round kitty litter bucket, or any bucket. To freeze that much water you'll need about 24 hours or more so that the ice cylinder is stable.


The Purpose of
Celebrations of Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, the Winter Solstice, the New Year and most other winter holidays all have themes of generosity, goodwill and helping to make our world a better place. So in the spirit of the season and of, we hope you'll make special holiday contributions to the following organizations.

In 150 countries, UNICEF works to provide children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education and emergency relief. Four years ago, 25,500 children died every day from preventable causes. Thanks in part to implementation of UNICEF’s tried and true lifesaving interventions, today that number is 22,000.
Conservation International works at every level around the developing world—from remote villages to the offices of presidents and premiers—to help move whole societies toward smarter development paths that protect natural resources.
Oxfam International works in 99 countries with partners and allies to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.
The Ploughshares Fund supports a global network of experts and advocates who are encouraging and enabling governments to make progress toward a nuclear-weapon-free world.
The Population Media Center works to improve reproductive and sexual health of people around the world by promoting creative, thoughtful mass media educational programs, for example serialized radio and TV dramas designed to instill pro-social attitudes and behaviors.
Population Action works to ensure that all people have access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health services so that humanity and the natural environment can exist in balance, and fewer people live in poverty.
The Fund for Peace is an independent, nonpartisan research and educational organization that works to prevent war and alleviate the conditions that cause conflict. The Fund promotes security through research, training and education, engagement of civil society, building bridges across diverse sectors, and developing innovative technologies and tools for policy makers.
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