What Does a Candle Symbolize?

In general, candles symbolize life, love and celebration. Candles can have customized meaning through personalization. They are also commonly used as part of religious ceremonies and holidays, and in each instance, the meaning may be different depending on the traditional beliefs.

The color of a candle often ascribes the most meaning to it. For example, it is traditional to burn candles of a corresponding color for certain wedding anniversaries. Celebrants’ burn silver candles for the 25th-year anniversary and gold for the 50th anniversary. There are a variety of colors in between that match to each of the round anniversary years. Next, the ornamentation or fragrance of a candle can hold meaning. Specific aromas, often intended to set a particular mood, contain symbolism. The lily fragrance can mean rebirth or transformation. Roses traditionally stand for love and romance while sweet pea means tenderness. In religious ceremonies, it is common to monogram candles to represent certain people or relics. In Christianity, a common monogram is Chi Rho (XP), a symbol of both Christ and peace. Another common monogram for Christ is INRI, an acronym for the Latin words “Jesus Nazerenus Rex Judaeorum” or Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, a quote from St. John. Most importantly, the person who burns the candle can create any symbolism they choose to give it.