In religion, candles play a crucial role in rites and ceremonies. In Christian services, for example, candles represent Eternal Light, which in turn symbolizes Christ.
Candles are used in Obon, a Japanese Buddhist festival that welcomes the ancestors' spirits as they rejoin their families in the living world. To guide them back to their world, the living puts lanterns or candles in baskets and floats these down rivers, lakes and seas to illuminate their path back to the afterlife.
In Thailand, which is also mainly Buddhist, candles are lit and then floated, along with incense sticks and flowers pinned to a section of banana tree trunk, down to rivers and streams to drive away ill fortunes and let the water carry away the troubles in a celebration known as Loi Krathong.
Floating candles can be integrated in secular events and ceremonies not just to make the occasion visually pleasant but also to lend a deeper meaning into the event. For example, you can decorate a pool, or tall crystal vases, with floating candles to wish a newly married couple fruitful and happy days ahead using pink and red floating candles. Light pink candles symbolize devotion, love, tenderness and faith, while red candles invoke physical pleasures, energy, health and fertility.
You can even get more creative by floating candles in large bowls wherever there is any gathering. Birthdays, anniversaries, milestones, Fourth of July, Christmas, New Year, can all be seen in a different light, if the tables are decorated with appropriately colored floating candles.
Here’s a brief guide on which colors suit the occasion and your purpose.
- Blue. Invokes harmony, enlightenment or inner peace. Dark blue candles also induce calm and deep sleep.
- Gold. Gold represents money and luck. So if you are wishing for prosperity and material wealth, this is the candle you should light. Brown. If you need to be more decisive or require more concentration, brown will make you more grounded.
- Gray. If you have a complex issue at hand and you need to ponder on your alternatives, a gray candle can help you achieve mental balance and stability.
- Green. To seek rejuvenation, healing, personal growth and even fertility, green candle are the best to use.
- Orange. For mental agility and stamina, orange candles are used as a balancing element.
- White. White has always symbolized purity and spiritual cleansing, so this is the candle to light best when you want to achieve overall well-being.