is a lot of folklore involving
candles. These are not necessarily related to Candlemas, however, since so many
candles are lit on this day, it would be prudent to know what
certain signs mean.
bright spark in the wick is sometimes said to indicate that a
stranger is coming or that a letter will arrive for the person
nearest to the candle. A wavering flame where there is no
draft is a harbinger of windy weather. A candle that doesn't
light easily foretells rain, and in some areas, a bluish flame
considered very ill-omened to leave a candle burning in an
empty room. The only exception is the Christmas candle which
should be left to burn all through the night of Christmas Eve
to light the way for the Holy Family and also to ensure light,
warmth and plenty in the coming year.
snuff out a candle by accident is a sign of a wedding; and no
candle should ever be allowed to burn down to the socket of
the candlestick. It should be blown out before that.
Otherwise, misfortune may come to someone in the house, and in
certain coastal areas, a sailor or fisherman may drown at sea.
time it was thought to be very unlucky to light three candles
with a single taper. This superstition has survived in the
avoidance of lighting three cigarettes with one match. It was
also asking for misfortune to burn three candles at the same
time. Apparently, Charles Stuart Parnell, the Irish
nationalist leader was well-acquainted with the superstition.
In his book, Life of Parnell, Barry O'Brien writes that
a friend once visited Parnell when he was ill and found him
lying in a bedroom illuminated by four candles. During the
visit, one of the candles went out; Parnell immediately
snuffed out another while remarking how unlucky it was to have
three lights burning together.
in this brief look at candle lore, it is said to be very
ill-omened to light a candle from the fire on the hearth.
There are those who believe that if a person does this, they
will become impoverished. As a measure of protection from this
misfortune or any others for that matter, here is a blessing
by Andrew Greeley, written expressly for the saints who
celebrate their feast days in February:
good St. Brighid keep you warn till spring
And fill your head with poetry and song
May your true heart with the help of Valentine
Love you deeply this month and all year long
May Blaise protect you from the common cold and sore throat,
hacking cough and snuffy nose
May Mother Mary's candles light your road and at the end of
the day bring sweet repose
And may God, who tells the stories of His love through the
saints, who love us too, bless you.