Litting candles, especially Christmas Candles, have been a part of almost every major religion in the history of mankind’s. In the Christianity candles are used to symbolize Jesus as the light of the world, as The Salvator of Humanity. Christians aren’t the only ones to use such symbols, candles are used all over the world in many traditions and religions. Christmas Candles are the integral part of the season atmosphere.
In Europe – Spain could be an example, people used to place a burning candle above the door to welcome in strangers. Italians, on the other hand, place candles at the windows to light the way for the Holy Child – Jesus Christ. In England, a great candle once replaced the favorite Yule Log. It was believed that if a candle did not burn throughout the entire Christmas Day, bad luck would plague the family of the house for an entire year!
The Dutch, lit two great candles to symbolize both the husband and wife of the home, and the first burned out Christmas Candle indicates the one to die first. In Scandinavian countries, Christmas Candles are left on the graves of the family ancestors, which tradition has its origins in the original Viking belief that the dead return to haunt the living during winter solstice.
Christmas Candles are also connected with the celebrations of St. Lucia’s Day (December 13th). During the time the Christians were persecuted, Saint Lucia used to deliver food to fellow Christians hiding in the city tunnels. Because it was dark in there, she wore a crown of candles to light her way to the hiding friends. The candles represented hope, an uplifting message during the long winter nights of the north.
Moreover, the colours of the Christmas Candles have a significant meaning in the christian liturgy rite. Originally it comes from the ancient Celtic tradition. For example white candle symbolised spiritual strength, pink one – love, and friendship red – passionate love, etc., for Celts. With Christmas / Advent Candles, it is not so much unique meaning of the colours, but the week they are lit. Advent starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas, climaxing on Christmas Day. A proper Christmas Candle is lit each of those four weeks, having a special meaning attributed to that particular week – Week One: Hope (purple candle), Week Two: Love (purple too), Week Three: Joy (another purple one), Week Four: Peace (pink candle), Christmas Day: Jesus Christ’s birth (white candle).