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What Is A Candle Used For?

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What Is A Candle Used For?

Before the invention of candles, ancient people used open flames, torches, resin wood shards and lamps to provide artificial lighting at night. Primitive oil lamps, in which a lit wick was placed in a pool of oil or fat, have been used since the Paleolithic period, and Neolithic pottery and stone lamps have also been found. Candles were probably produced after the Early Bronze Age, but it is unclear where they were first used. Objects that may have been menorahs have been found in Babylonian and mid-Minoan cultures, as well as in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Early evidence of the use of candles can be found in Italy, where depictions of candlesticks exist in the Etruscan tombs of Orvieto, with the earliest unearthed Etruscan candlesticks dating from the 7th century BC. Candles may have evolved from tapered candles with oak and other plant fiber wicks that were soaked in fat, pitch, or oil and burned in lamps or jars. Ancient candles were made from various forms of natural fats, tallow, and wax, and the Romans made true wax-infused candles from tallow and beeswax. Beeswax candles were expensive and restricted to the wealthy, while oil lamps were more common among the Romans. Torches and oil lamps were used in ancient Greece, and the use of candles was likely adopted in the later Roman period. Early records in China indicate the use of candles during the Qin Dynasty before 200 BC. These early Chinese candles were probably made from whale blubber.


In Christianity, candles have great significance in decorative, symbolic and ceremonial uses in churches. The wax candle or candela cerea recorded in the late 3rd century was recorded as an Easter candle in Spain and Italy in the 4th century, after which the Christian festival Candlemas was named and initiated by Pope Sergius I candle-lighting procession. Candle. The Papal Bull issued a decree prohibiting the use of tallow in altar candles, and candles with a high beeswax content were necessary for high altars.

Candles were originally used primarily in Christian churches in medieval Europe, but its use expanded to wealthy households, but even then it was considered a luxury item. In northern Europe, rushes made from greased rushes were common, especially in England, but in medieval times tallow candles were used, with references to tallow candles in English appearing in 1154. Beeswax is widely used in church rituals and burns cleanly without the smoky flames and does not release the unpleasant odor that animal tallow does. Beeswax candles were expensive, and relatively few people were able to burn them at home in medieval Europe. However, by the 16th century, beeswax candles had become a luxury household item for the wealthy. Candles were widely used in the 17th and 18th centuries, and a party in Dresden in 1779 is said to have been lit by 14,000 candles.


In the Middle East, during the Abbasid and Fatimid dynasties, beeswax was the primary material for candle making. Beeswax is often imported from far away. For example, candle makers in Egypt use beeswax from Tunisia. As in Europe, these candles were expensive and restricted to the elite, with most commoners using oil lamps instead.

In early modern Syria, candles were in high demand among all socioeconomic classes, as they were often lit during weddings. In the 1500s and 1600s, there was a guild of candle makers in the Safavid capital of Isfahan. However, candle makers had a relatively low social status in Safavid Iran, on par with barbers, bathhouse workers, fortune tellers, bricklayers and porters.

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