Why do we light Candles at Christmas?

Have you ever thought of the real reason why we light candles at Christmas?

The four candles of advent were traditionally lit (Adventus is Latin for coming or arrival of notable person) during this period, the 4 sunday’s before Christmas day, the four candles hope, peace, joy & love

Gods people – Hope

Old Testament prophets -Peace

Mary mother of Jesus – Joy

John the Baptist – Love

Place the four coloured candles on an advent wreath, and light in that order. The wreath is circular to represent no beginning or end. The four candles are coloured two purple, pink then white in the middle is lit on Christmas day, there are different variations of this in other religions.

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Candles were also lit to represent the star of Bethlehem

Did you know that the ‘star of Bethlehem’ isn’t just one, but 3 planets clustered together. (Remember that at your next pub quiz) the three are Venus, Regulus & Jupiter. Read this interesting article on Forbes – here about possible explanations of the ‘Star of Bethlehem’

Jesus was often referred to himself ‘I am the light of the world’

One of the earliest rituals with candles or lanterns is lighting them to mark the Winter solstice

The oncoming of spring, the winter solstice and the return of the sun. The day with the fewest daylight hours is the perfect time to switch off the electric, grab a good book or your partner, get cosy and fill your home with Christmas fragranced candles. Lighting a candle at this time of year when you are so busy allows you to slow down, the mere lighting of the candle is mindful. Why not try meditating by watching the candle flame, it’s a beautiful time to be present.

We have a candle lit meal with the family to mark the solstice, therefore an excuse to fill the room with my popular Noel candle. It’s (Currently sold out) scented with Orange, clove, cinnamon and lemon. The orange at the winter solstice signifies the sun and were historically decorated with cloves. These were scented to ward off evil spirits, tied with a ribbon, sometimes worn around the neck however that look might not be trending!

I hang mine from my tree, otherwise known as pomanders. Watch below how to make an orange pomander

To mark the winter solstice I’ll also light a fire outside,

I will light the Christmas candles at my front door which often scents out into the street. The postman & milkman usually comment on whatever candle is scenting the garden. I will also offer mulled wine to anyone who pops by, there is usually a huge pot of it on the stove all Christmas. Historically candles were lit at the solstice meal where the food would consist of the meat of the animals that the farmers culled to avoid feeding them over the winter. As a vegetarian I will be culling the vegetables!

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Jo Macfarlane is an award winning Scottish hand poured luxury scented candle maker, based in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife.

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