Candles are now indispensable when it comes to celebrations, visiting dark places, creating a romantic ambience, or giving warmth inside a room. There are many uses for candles. Want to know interesting facts about our beloved candles? Read on.
The use of the first candles is attributed to the Romans. Generally used to light the path of the people when traveling, they also used candles to light places of worship.
The first material used in the creation of candles is tallow. However, tallow emits a smoky flame and unpleasant odor when burned, which is one key reason it is not as popular today.
During the Middle Age, people learned about beeswax and used them to create candles. Its clean flame was immediately noticed as well as the absence of foul odor from the smoke. During those times however, beeswax was costly, thus, use of beeswax candles was only limited to rich people.
Other materials used are spermaceti and paraffin. Gel and soy wax candles are also popular nowadays.
The electric bulb caused the decline of candle sales. However, use of electricity in the food/meat industry caused increased production of candle materials (as byproducts) such as paraffin. Thus, candles are now readily available in stores everywhere due to the abundance of cheap supplies.
Candles generally have a long shelf life when stored properly in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in enclosed places or areas as the heat can slowly dissolve the wax. Especially if you have a designed or molded candle, the candle may lose its shape when placed in a high temperature environment.
Manufacturers of candles also sell candles in different fun or religious shapes. They also add colors, and even scents to show the different uses of the candles, whether for a ceremony, religious purposes or aromatherapy.
At home, you can even make your own candles simply by using beeswax and a wick. You can also put in colors and scents, and produce candles similar to those being produced by large manufacturers. For some households, this has even become an income-generating hobby. You can design your own personal mold for your candles whether you give them as gifts or sell them in stores.
During important religious celebration such as Christmas or Hanukkah, candles play an important role in showing, that there is light and hope in the days to come. To show this, these candles are used as decorations on table tops, on window panes and on other surfaces.
Although electric light bulbs and newer technologies displaced the use of candles as a source of light long ago, people will still continue to use candles for special occasions, decorative purposes, and aromatherapy. The demand for candles never declines as there are many uses for candles. Candles will always be seen as fun, useful, and decorative.
Be sure to handle them with care to avoid any undesirable fire emergencies, and never let children play with them. Candles, as seen through its history, will always evolve and will never fail to delight people who are celebrating, romancing, or simply walking the dark paths of life, literally and figuratively.