Candle Making Through the Centuries

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The Evolution of Candles For thousands of years, before modern electrical lighting systems were developed, candles existed not for decoration but for the sole purpose of providing artificial light in millions of homes. Here’s a brief history of how the candle making industry flourished, declined and regained its prominence through the years. • The Ancient Times During the ancient civilisation, candles were made from tallow, or animal fat, extracted from cattle and sheep. The first candles were developed by the ancient Egyptians. These candles, known as rushlights or torches, had no wicks and burned slowly. The Romans were credited for the first creation of candles with wicks, the ones that resembled the candles that are used today. Many other early civilisations developed wicked candles with the use of waxes extracted from various plants and insects. The Chinese made candles from moulded paper tubes, using a rolled rice paper for the wick and wax taken from seeds and indigenous insects. The Japanese also made candles from waxes derived from tree nuts, while the Indians made candle waxes by boiling the fruit of the cinnamon tree. • The Middle Ages The candle making process improved during the Middle Ages when beeswax were introduced as an alternative to tallow. The beeswax, unlike the animal-based tallow, burned without producing smoke. It also emitted a sweet pleasant smell compared to the foul odour released by burning tallow. Beeswax candles were popularly used for religious events and celebrations, but because they were expensive, only the clergy and the upper class could afford to burn them. From the Middle Ages to the 13th century, tallow candles remained the most common light source used all over Europe due to th... ... middle of paper ... ...les were replaced by fluorescent lights and light bulbs as major light sources, the candle making industry is still burning bright. Candles in varying colours, shapes and sizes are still manufactured and used in different manners like in religious ceremonies, birthday celebrations, aromatherapy, and home decorations. The new millennium casts a different role for candles. Not only are candles used as light sources during power outage, but they also symbolise festivity, calm the senses, mark intimacy, and accent home decors. Across the world and all over the World Wide Web, candles are more popular than ever, and they continue to grow in popularity as part of home decors and special gift ideas for both men and women. In fact, candles are among the top decorative choices for people who want to cast a warm and lively ambience and soothing aroma inside their homes.

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