What are Christmas candles
Advent falls in a time of year when the days are shorter, the nights longer and the weather outside is less comfortable. Candles are a welcome remedy. The flickering light creates a homely atmosphere at home that makes you want to snuggle under the covers with a cup of tea and a good book.
The tradition of candles in Advent and Christmas time goes back to the end of the 17th century. They were already widespread back then, but they only became really popular in the 19th century, when you could finally buy cheaper paraffin candles instead of expensive wax candles. Before that, it was either wax or oil lights, less often torches, that were used.
In the church liturgy, candles are the symbol of Christ during Advent and Christmas, who only enlightened the world through faith. That is why candles can also be found on Christmas trees and Advent wreaths. The latter, with its candles, has become increasingly important in the Christian life of piety.
It originally consisted only of sticks from which the wreath was tied, and four candles. Three of the candles were purple and one was pink. This candle should be lit on the 3rd Sunday of Advent. The Advent wreath is not only a room decoration in the run-up to Christmas, but also a call to reflection and prayer in the weeks before Christmas. At the blessing of Advent
wreath and its candles, a prayer is said which is supposed to express what the believer sees the meaning of the Advent candle: “God, you sent your Son as light into the world. Bless these candles. "
It is a beautiful custom to light the candles on Sunday with the family while reading a Christmas story or a poem.
Another nice custom that shows the importance of candlelight during the Christmas season is the peace light. Every year it is lit by a child in the birth grotto of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem and brought to Austria by plane. Here it is then distributed to churches and other places. The tradition of the light of peace was brought into being in Austria in 1986, and it has since become a pre-Christmas custom in thirty other European countries.
But apart from Christian customs, candles are an important part of the Christmas season, especially for decoration. They are offered in a wide variety of shapes, colors, sizes and figures at the numerous Christmas markets. Despite fairy lights, they are indispensable during the Christmas season and candle consumption is very high, although many now use electric candles.
Austria's most popular Christmas markets
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