Candles have long been used for spiritual and religious purposes, with different cultures and belief systems incorporating candles into their rituals and ceremonies. Whether used for meditation, prayer, or as symbolic gesture, candles hold a special significance in many spiritual traditions.
In many denominations of Christianity, candles are used to represent the light of Christ, and are often lit during religious services. Candles are also commonly used during seasonal festivities, to symbolise the hope and renewal brought by the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. They are common in many churches, with people able to light tea lights in memory of loved ones.
In Buddhism, candles are used in meditation and prayer, representing the light of the Buddha and the path to enlightenment. Buddhists often light candles and incense around statues and images of the Buddha and will use candles in their homes and temples to create a peaceful and spiritual environment for prayer and day to day life alike.
In Hinduism, candles are used in a daily ritual of worship and offering, to represent the light of the gods and the connection between the individual and the divine. Hindus may also light candles during religious festivals and ceremonies, such as Diwali.
In Native American traditions, candles are used in ceremonies to represent the connection between the physical and spiritual world, and to bring light to those who are in need, either ill or struggling.