There are many different reasons why candles are associated with seasonal holidays. Long, long, ago candles were used during ancient winter solstice celebrations as a way of remembering that the light of spring would soon come. One of the earliest records of candles being used at Christmas is from the middle ages, where a large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem.
Candles are used during Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Light. During the eight nights of Hanukkah each candle is lit in a special menorah.Candles are also used in the modern winter festival Kwanzaa, where a special candle holder called a kinara is used. One of the most beautiful use of candles at Christmas are candlelight services when the entire church is only lit by candles.
Candles were also originally used to decorate Christmas trees until safer electric lights were invented!
In some parts of Ireland it was traditional to have a Yule candle instead of a Yule log.
Candles are also used as part of the St. Lucia’s or St. Lucy’s day celebrations in Sweden. A wreath of candles, worn on the head, is a beautiful tradition.
So no matter where you are, or who you are, it’s time to get out your candles and celebrate the season!
Carol Fenn 12-2017