Light up the Christmas Holidays
Candle-lit services have been a part of every major religion in mankind's recorded history. Christianity has candles to symbolize Jesus as the light of the world. True to the scope of the Christian symbol, candles are used all over the world in many traditions. Check out some of these global traditions and get inspired to display your candles in festive Christmas candle holders.
In Spain, families place a burning candle above the door to welcome in strangers.
In Italy, candles stand at the windows to light the way for the Holy Child.
In England, a great candle once took the place of the favorite Yule Log. It was believed that if a candled did not burn throughout the entire day of Christmas, ill fortune would plague the family of the house for an entire year!
In Denmark, two great candles are lit to symbolize both the husband and wife of the home. Which ever burns out first would indicate who would be the first to die.
In Scandinavian countries, candles are left on the graves of ancestors, which may have stemmed from the original Viking belief that the dead return to haunt the living during winter solstice.
Candles also feature prominently in St. Lucia's Day (December 13th). During the days when Christians were persecuted, Lucia would deliver food to fellow Christians hiding in tunnels. To light the way, she wore a crown of candles. The candles represented hope, an uplifting message during the long winter nights of the north.
Likewise, the colors of candles have roots in old traditions, in this case, Celtic. While red, white and green are used as universal Christmas colors, here are the meanings the ancient Celts attached to different candle colors:
- White - Spiritual Strength
- Pink - Love, Morality, and Friendship
- Red - Passionate Love, Good Health, and Strength
- Orange - Encouragement, Concentration
- Yellow - Attraction, Persuasion
- Green - Money, Success, Luck
- Purple - Ambition, Power
- Black - Sadness, Loss
With Advent candles, it is not so much the colors of the candles that have unique meanings, but the week they are lit. Advent starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas, culminating on Christmas Day. A candle is lit each week, with a special meaning attributed to that particular week:
- Week One : Hope (purple candle)
- Week Two : Love (purple candle)
- Week Three : Joy (purple candle)
- Week Four : Peace (pink candle)
- Christmas Day : Jesus' birth (white candle)