Traditions of Christmas Light

This week we celebrate all the traditions of Christmas. Lights in all forms are a part of that tradition. Enjoy the following bits of folklore surrounding the use of candles, lights and fire to mark this season of faith and charity.

The Yule Log – From Eastern Europe, the Yule log burned throughout the season. It was usually the largest, greenest log available. Servants (and slaves) often soaked it in a creek, because no one had to work as long as the log burned. Legend said that as the flames consumed the log, they also consumed all the mistakes and bad choices of the past year, allowing everyone to start the New Year with a clean slate.  

Christmas Candles – Candles are a symbol for almost every religion and culture. Christians recognize the Light of Jesus, Jews celebrate the Festival of Lights, Kwanza has the ceremony of Seven Lights. A candle banishes darkness. Candlelight also beckons the approach of the New Year.  Candles, especially scented ones, were treasured in ancient cultures. They were given as gifts to promote friendship, patronage and prosperity. Candles provided light and heat to each home. They have been used in ceremonies dating back to the Roman Empire, and possibly earlier.

Candles in the Window – In medieval times, it was thought that the Christ Child wandered around the world, looking for places that would welcome him.  Candles were placed in the windows as a symbol to invite him to enter.

 Christmas Tree Lights – The tree represents the cross where Christ died, and lights are a symbol of His presence, the Light of the World. May He light your world this Christmas season.

 Light also signifies the beauty of the season and the light in our hearts. Remember that “Ye are the light of the world. … Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:14,16

 As you enjoy the traditions of Christmas, may you be blessed with joy and peace, and may you be a light and blessing in someone else’s world.

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