Like many other traditions, I take lighting a candle for granted. But have you ever stopped to think, where did a candle even come from? Why did people start burning it? Just like everything else, the tradition of lighting a candle came out of the necessity for light. We know very little about the actual origin of candles, but what’s fascinating is that we can trace candles back to many different forms and materials used by each of the ancient civilizations.
Ancient Egyptians were using torches by soaking the core of reeds into melted animal fat…. They had no wicks, but in my book, that's close enough! Ancient Chinese candles were said to have used molded paper tubes and rolled rice paper for the wick, wax from insects and seeds. Ancient Romans dipped rolled papyrus repeatedly into melted beeswax or tallow.
And while candles had practical uses, we know they had spiritual significance too. Candles have been used in religious ceremonies by almost every religion, and each one gives fire their own meaning. and have been referenced as divinity throughout all cultures. In many ancient times and even in indigenous cultures the sign of fire was the sign of life.
Honestly, we could go on and on about how candles have been infused into everyday life throughout history, whether it's for need, or for pleasure. But I think we’ve provided you with enough random facts to support the candle category on Jeopardy! If you need more, you can always email us!
For now, take your moment and work on infusing candles into YOUR routine. Some days you might NEED that affirmation that believes in you before you do. Some days you might just want to inhale that luxurious scent that the candle brings. Either way, go strike a match, and light your candle and light up your life!