Living Lucky
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Living Lucky

Candle Light

April 22nd, 2010 . by admin

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When or by whom candles were invented in still a mystery. However, there is proof that they were used by people in both Egypt and Crete as early as 3000 B.C. It is believed that candles were used to scare away evil spirits during that time.

The ancient Hebrews believed that candles could fend off evil forces from those who were dying. These candles would be kept lighted a week after the death of a person. In Shiva, a Jewish ritual, this custom is still practiced. A week after the demise of a family member, those in the family will sequester for a week. To keep evil influences away from the dead and well as those alive, another similar custom is practiced in Ireland. A dozen candles will be positioned around the coffin in a circle. Sometimes, three candles will be burned at Irish wakes and the candle wicks will be kept as a treatment for burn injuries.

The Irish regard the burning of three candles simultaneously in a room as bad luck because people usually associate the burning of three candles to the demise of a person. In the theatre, the same belief holds true. Actors and others consider three candles as an ominous sign.

In Scotland, candles are burned for good luck when people are seriously ill or dying. It is believed that candles obtained from someone who is considered as unlucky, such as a witch, will bring good fortune.

In the Appalachians, an unsteady candle flame is viewed as an ill omen. Likewise, the Scotch-Irish consider the burning of a candle in a vacant room bad luck. In Britain, people predict impending bad luck by observing how the candle wax drips. People believe that it is an ominous sign if the wax drips around the candle instead of straight down. In Germany, it is considered a sign of bad luck if one candle wick splits into two and continues to burn with two flames. In neighboring Austria, people are of the opposite view that such an occurrence should be regarded as a signal that good luck will be approaching in the mail soon.

In Shakespeare’s King Richard the Third, the Ghost of Buckingham goes into a room illuminated with blue candlelight, demonstrating an old English saying that a candle lighted by a blue flame spells trouble. Fret not, as one can ward off this bad luck by using running water to snuff out the candle flame.

In the seventeenth century, people believed that if the candle flame of a consecrated candle was reflected in a pirate’s eye, he would have no choice but to divulge the location of buried treasure.

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