I am really familiar with this week’s fairy tale and I’m sure many others will be too. It’s surely one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most known. It’s such a sad but poignant little tale.
It centres around a poor young girl, who on a very cold New Year’s Eve is selling matches on the street. She’s freezing, but doesn’t want to go home because her father will beat her for not selling any matches. The cruel man. The girl settles down in a nook and lights a match to keep herself warm.
The girl sees some visions in the glow. She sees a Christmas tree and a feast. The girl looks up and sees a shooting star. She remembers a conversation with her passed grandmother saying that a falling star means someone is dying and going to heaven. Whilst lighting another match, she sees her grandmother who always treated her right. She keeps on lighting match after match so she can see her grandmother.
After the little girl has lit all of the matches, she dies. Her grandmother carries her soul to heaven. Passers-by find the little girl and the burnt-out matches next to her. They realise what has happened to her and feel pity, but they don’t realise how lovely it is for grandmother and granddaughter to be reunited in heaven.