The Significance of Holiday Candles
BY MACIE WRIGHT DECEMBER 19 2014
Twinkle here, twinkle there; around the holiday season there is twinkle everywhere. The bright lights that surround many communities during the month of December are not only for decoration, but have a significant meaning. The lights used for decoration have different meanings depending on a person’s beliefs and motives. From a Christian perspective, the lights are meant to serve as reminders of Jesus, the Light of the World, hope, happiness and safety.
“I really like the religious side of [decorating with lights] too,” junior Mark Edwards said.
Not everyone has this perspective of the abundance of lights surrounding them. Instead, the purpose of the decorative lights is to encourage holiday spirit and bring holiday cheer to all who encounter their display.
“I think [the lights] bring more [Christmas] spirit and make it bright,” freshman Kynocci Streeter said.
Around the holiday season, people will put up these lights in every nook and cranny, and decorate until their heart’s content.
“We put [lights] outside the house, inside the house, in the living room [and] above the fireplace,” sophomore Deja Swindell said.
The bright lights of the holiday season bring color and a festive spirit to communities everywhere and remind some people about what the true meanings of the holidays are.
Along with bright lights, candles are used significantly throughout the holiday season. Between Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, candles play an important role during the month of December. According to Living Hope Lutheran Church for Christmas, the candles are used to represent Jesus as the Light of the World, just as many of the decorative lights do. Christians also use what is called an advent wreath, which is a wreath that holds five candles, each of them having a significant meaning about the birth of Jesus Christ. Each candle is lit leading up to Christmas day, where the last candle is lit to symbolize the birth of Christ.
For Hanukkah, candles play a very important role in the Jewish celebration. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the Jewish people use a nine-branched Menorah for their celebration during the eight days of Hanukkah. Each night, a new candle is lit by the flame of the previous night’s candle. The Menorah serves as a reminder of the miracle that oil from one day’s work can last for their entire celebration.
Candles are also used in the holiday celebration, Kwanzaa. There are seven candles that represent the seven principles of the African celebration. The candles are various colors and are lit each night of the celebration. The candles are green, red and black, the main colors that represent the celebration of Kwanzaa.
Candles and lights add to the spirit of the holidays and mean something different to everyone. Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, the love for lights and things that shine bright will never fade because those bright lights are what people search and hope for around the holiday season.