So Christmas is nearly upon us! We hope in these busy times you have managed to enjoy the festivities and are looking forward to Christmas Day. Another important day in the advent calendar is Christmas Eve, which has many of its own customs and traditions. Christmas Eve is celebrated in different ways across the world, varying by country and region. Common practices include the attendance of special religious observances such as Midnight Mass. In Catholic countries such as Spain, Mexico, Poland and Italy, Midnight Mass is the most important church service of the Christmas season.
Christmas Eve is also the day when people in many countries, such as Germany, Sweden and Portugal exchange their presents. In many European countries, including Serbia and Slovakia, Christmas Eve is when the Christmas tree is brought into the house and decorated. It was also traditional to bring a yule log into the house and light it on Christmas Eve. It was lit using a piece of the previous year's log and then would burn non-stop until the Twelfth Night (5th January/6th January). Here in the UK, there are some traditions associated with Christmas Eve. For example, those with children leave mince pies out for Father Christmas and carrots for his reindeer. Midnight Mass is also still a popular tradition here in the UK and many people have their own family Christmas eve traditions.
Candles are very much associated with the Christmas period; they are an important festive accompaniment to the holiday. Lighting candles on Christmas Eve is also an ancient Christmas tradition. Typically, a big white candle was kept lit during the night of Christmas Eve, signifying Christ, who is understood in Christian religious scripture to be the "light of the world". In many churches throughout the world, people gather together on Christmas Eve in joyful anticipation of Christmas and participate in a special candlelight service with festive music, carols and scripture readings. There are many different reasons why candles are associated with Christmas, although the date of origin remains unknown.
• Candles were used during ancient winter solstice celebrations a way of remembering that spring would soon come.
• One of the earliest records of candles being used at Christmas is from the middle ages, where a large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem. This might have led to the custom of the Advent Crown and Advent Candles.
• Perhaps one of the most famous uses of candles at Christmas time is by carollers during candlelit services.
• Candles are also used during Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Light which is also celebrated during winter. During the eight nights of Hanukkah, a candle is lit in a special Menorah (candelabra) called a 'hanukkiyah'.
• In some parts of Ireland, it was traditional to have a Yule candle instead of a Yule log.
• In Southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps onto the flat roofs of their homes to celebrate Christmas.
• Christians in China use paper lanterns to decorate their Christmas trees. Candles are also used as part of the St. Lucia's or St. Lucy's Day celebrations in Sweden.
• Candles were also originally used to decorate Christmas Trees, until much safer electric options were invented.
I hope you are all looking forward to a lovely Christmas and have all pf your gifts organised. If there's one or two bits you require or you could make room for a few extra festive goodies over Christmas and New Year, then there are plenty of gorgeous festive treats here at The Candle Tree:
Make Christmas Eve extra special with a beautiful festive candle from Yankee Candle. Traditional festive scents of a warm hearth, sugared plums, and candied fruits make for a welcoming, Christmassy scent in your home.
Here's a lovely last minute gift idea; this beautiful Shade and Tray combo set is the perfect way to decorate your candles in style! Infuse any space with rich beauty and sophistication. Designed exclusively for Yankee Candle, this delicately hand painted crackle glass accessory collection gives an elegant feeling to any room.
These beautifully simple dinner candles will add that touch of everyday luxury to your Christmas dinner table or mantel piece. These candles are also fragranced with an uplifting blend of festive and aromatic spices; nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. These Inspiritus scented 10"candles are sold in pairs. So sit back, relax and enjoy a burn time of up to 12 hours.
Thank you for a wonderful 2017, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year from The Candle Tree! For more festive treats from The Candle Tree pop into our Gloucester shop or take a look online: