Here’s another informative post by Sanchita Chowdhury on the Boldsky blog. If you’ve ever wondered why we light candles during the Christmas Holiday’s, Chowdhury’s piece explains their significance:
Lighting candles on Christmas is an old tradition. The tradition of lighting candles on Christmas comes from the Jewish ‘Feast of Lights’ or Hanukkah. They mark the birth of Jesus Christ who is the Light of the World. Christmas candles are also symbolic of the Light from Heaven which provides us with warmth during the cold winter nights. When it comes to Christmas, the candle light represents Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is also known as the Light of the World who takes us from the path of darkness and leads us to true light.The light of the candle signifies the path of illumination and realising the true meaning of human life. It represents spirituality, devotion and faith.
In the medieval times, it was customary to represent Christ with a burning candle. This custom is still followed in most churches and Christian houses. A large candle representing the Lord is placed at the centre of the laurel wreath and is kept burning through the Holy Night. The custom of lighting candles is still followed in its original form in most countries. In Ireland: The mother or father of the household lights a large candle which is decorated with the holly. Then the family members sit together and pray for all their near and dear ones, both living and departed. In Slavic Nations: A large Christmas candle is put up on a table after it has been blessed by the priest in the church. Interestingly, the Ukrainians do not use candle stands. Rather they stick the candle in a bread loaf. In South America: In many parts of South America the candle is placed in a paper lantern with Christmas symbols and pictures of the Native culture for decoration. In England & France: Three candles are molded together at the base which signifies the Holy Trinity. In Germany: The Christmas candle used to be placed on top of a wooden pole decorated with the evergreens during the seventeenth and the eighteenth century. Lighting the candle on Christmas has a one true meaning, no matter how it is lighted, it symbolises one’s faith in God and the fact that human life is not stable. It is sure to melt away with time like the candle.