image borrowed from bing
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single
candle; happiness never decreases by being
After man discovered how to create & control fire,
it was inevitable that he would learn to encase
a burnable wick in wax in order to light his way,
& even more inevitable that he would soon
thereafter begin to use candles to represent
religious significance & symbolism.
During Colonial times one lit a single candle
in the window to welcome home family travelers,
and later, for many, the single candle stood for
the Star of Bethlehem, or for Jesus as the
Light of the World. Three candles meant
the holy trinity.
The Buddhists light candles in front of
Buddhist shrines or statues to signify
both the light of Buddha’s teachings
& of impermanence & change in life.
We find the Menorah in Jewish Temples
& homes, holding eight candles, lighting
one for each day of Hanukkah, representing
the oil that burned in the Temple for 8 nights.
Most prominently, we find those decorative racks
of votive candles in Catholic churches, usually
facing a shrine of Jesus or Mary or both,
placed in colorful jars or holders.
Lighting some of these candles somehow
intensifies one’s prayers for the safe return
or improved health of a loved one, &
all kinds of special circumstances.
It is important to understand the color coding
on votive candles:
--green for prosperity, growth, & vitality,
--white for eternal life, enlightenment, the color of joy,
--red for sacrifice, love, & passion,
--gold for eternal life or victory,
--blue for Lent or Easter, trust & faith,
--purple, often lit during Advent, to express
remorse & repentance.
On a lighter note (smile), people who
have been known to bake 100 foot wide pizzas,
or waffles that could cover a table, set out
to create the World’s Biggest Candle.
It seems the Americans have triumphed
in this endeavor with the humungous
Caruso Candle built in Centreville, Indiana,
standing 80 feet tall, 8 feet in diameter.
Every year on Caruso’s birthday, I guess
they put a large singing tenor in a crane basket,
& lift him up to the top while he holds a blow torch--
God, I’d love to witness that celebration.
Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics
Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?