Giving and lighting a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve has been a long-time American tradition. The history dates back to colonial times.
The early colonists of North America discovered bayberries gave off a greenish-white waxy residue when boiled. By saving the bayberry wax, they used it to make taper candles. However, it was time-consuming and took many bayberries – “nearly 18 pounds of the berries to get about 2 pounds of wax” – to make enough wax for a single candle. “Some communities passed laws to protect the bayberry crop from an early harvest. The result was a high value; bayberry candles became a luxury item, saved for special use.”
Adding beeswax to the bayberry wax helped the candles hold their shape and not break due to the brittleness of the pure bayberry wax. Most of these candles were only burned during the darkest times of the year. Therefore, a ritual of burning the bayberry candle at Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve became a tradition.
The bayberry candle was lit at a specific time, so it stays burning after midnight. The candle remained alight until it burned out on its own. “If the candle burned down to the socket, abundance would bless everyone participating in the ritual,” according to the tradition.
Bayberry Candle Poems
Here’s a Bayberry Candle that’s meant just for you,
With Holiday Tradition that’s tried and true.
When you light this candle on Christmas Eve Day,
Love and Luck come to you when it’s burned all the way!
To bring good luck for a year,
you must burn a Bayberry Candle on Christmas Day.
And if the flame burns bright, and the light shines clear,
then heaven will bless you all the year.
We hope that burning a bayberry candle this Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve will bring you good fortune and prosperity for the coming year.
If you are looking for a bayberry candle, Seeds of Wellness sell bayberry votive and pillar candles made by Sacred Path Candles.