Christmas holiday is one of the many traditions that involve the use of candles. During the Christmas holiday, carolers carry white candles: tapers, votives or pillars and place them on Christmas trees' branches or in windows. The use of candles has been seen in customs in non-Christian holidays with history as far back as the ancient Romans.
Beautiful candles are symbols of Christmas. They have been used to emphasise all occasions of joy by man. They can trace back the use of lighted torches and bonfires to centuries before Jesus' birth, with the ancient Scandinavians using fire to resist the King of Frost.
Roman Saturnalia Festival
The Roman Saturnalia festival is one of the celebrations from which the Christmas candle traditions performed by Christians can be traced back to. It is the pagan celebration dedicated to Saturn - the Roman god. Candle light was used as a symbol of Saturn's light. Just like the way some Christians greet each other during the Christmas celebrations in churches, the ancient Romans did the same while holding the candle tapers.
In Yule festivals, bonfire and candlelight were used to represent the sun. They were also a sign of farewell to past seasons and a welcome to new seasons.
Other festivals like Kwanzaa uses candle light from seven candles to symbolise the seven principles.
Candles in Windows
Lighted candles were put on windows to provide light to guide the Christ Child. The people could not turn away any strangers because they might end up turning away the Christ child in disguise. In the modern times, the custom of having candles on the window is still practiced. The only difference is that the traditional candles have been replaced by the electronic replicas.
Christmas Tree Candles
It was a popular practice for candles to be placed on Christmas trees. However, in the modern day, electronic light strands are used instead. This tradition can also be linked with the Saturnalia Festival, where the Romans used candles on small trees to honour Saturn the ruler of their crops.
There are quite a number of religious ceremonies in which Christmas candles play an important role. Most people will light such a white candle during church services on Christmas Eve. Once the candle is lit, the congregation says a prayer. In such a way, the lit candle symbolises the light of God.
In the modern days, candles, both scented and unscented are still in use in different ways to enhance Christmas. They are used to light up the dinner table, and add brilliance and glow to the faces of the family and guests. Nowadays, everyone can buy candles online too. This makes it even easier for busy people.To keep up with the traditions, buyers can get a variety of candles to use them as décor, mixing up aromas, colours and light in order to enhance the magic that comes with Christmas celebrations.