Being from New England, the legend of the Bayberry Candle is one of my favorite Christmas legends. I thought it was one that everyone knew until I met my husband who grew up in Texas and had never heard of the legend of the bayberry candle. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, I want to share it with you now.
The Legend of the Bayberry Candle
Hundreds of years ago, when colonial families settled in New England, they began taking care of the chores that needed to be done to set up their homes. Most of these chores fell to the women. One of the chores that the women needed to take care of was making candles. The average colonial home would need up to 400 candles to light the home for a year and these candles were made from the tallow or animal fat from the animals that were slaughtered during the year.
As you can imagine, tallow can have quite an odor after it has sat around for several months. In richer families, the women would make their candles from beeswax or bayberry was because they small was much nicer than tallow. The women would gather bushes of bayberries and then boil them to let the waxy substance from the berries seep out. The wax would rise to the top of the water and once it was cooled, it was skimmed off the top. It took about 15 pounds of bayberries to make a pound of wax. From this wax, the more well off families would make their winter candles.
Folklore says that if you light a brand new bayberry candle on Christmas Eve you will have health, wealth and prosperity for the new year. You absolutely must burn it all the way down to the bottom. The saying is “A bayberry candle burnt to the socket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket.” Whether or not this legend is true, I don’t know but most years, we will burn Bayberry candles as our Christmas candles.
You can find Bayberry candles and all sorts of Christmas tree candles and other candles from Crafted Candles. I love the selection that I found at Crafted Candles. We use so many different types of candles for Christmas that it’s nice to find one place we can purchase all of our needs. Taper candles are ideal to place on the mantle. We have votive candles scattered around the living room. A pair of pine cone or Christmas tree candles make a beautiful centerpiece for your Christmas table. Stop by Crafted Candles for your Bayberry candles and all your candle needs. Like them on Facebook for an exclusive discount code.
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