Easter candles: updating an ancient tradition

Easter candles: updating an ancient tradition

The connection between religion and candles is ancient and Easter is one of the times of year when this historic association shines. Easter candles are a traditional part of Easter celebrations around the world. Here at Great House Farm Stores we have our own take on Easter and candles, one that focuses on a time of restoration, joy, feasting and connection, that we’d love to invite you to try for yourself this year.

But first, here’s some of fascinating history of Easter candles and why they’re still a go-to today.

What’s the significance of Easter candles?

The Paschal candle is the most traditional form of Easter candle. It’s used in some Christian churches to mark the beginning and end of the Easter period. Made of beeswax, these pillar candles hold lots of symbolism.

Paschal candles are usually decorated, some with a colourful transfer pointing to the story of Jesus Christ with a cross and letters from the Greek alphabet to indicate that He is the beginning and the end.

But even the wax of a paschal Easter candle, which is traditionally beeswax, is celebrated for its poignancy. The ivory-yellow colour is said to represent hope and new beginnings.

There’s also a lot of structure around where the easter candles are placed and at what point they’re used in the church service or mass.

This careful consideration of how to incorporate a paschal candle into some Christian gatherings around Easter is truly fascinating.

When do you light Easter candles?

According to Vanpoulles who sell a range of beautifully decorated Paschal candles:

“The paschal candle is lit during the Easter Vigil, usually held on Holy Saturday night. This is the longest and most important service of the year for many Christians. The candle symbolizes Christ's presence in the world and his power over death. It is also used to bless other candles and objects during Easter services. The paschal candle is lit for the entire Easter season, which lasts fifty days. The flame symbolises the presence of Christ and His light in the world.”

We love the ritual and intentionality here. Not only are these Easter candles used for their symbolism, they form an important part of an ancient ritual steeped in tradition and faith.

It was reading about how Easter candles are used in religious celebrations that made us consider our own candle use over the Easter period.

But, What About Easter Candles In 2024?

Whether you’re a Christian or not, the Easter period is, for most people, a great opportunity to press pause. Most of our usual rhythms of work and school are all put on hold for four days. Summer and Christmas aside, it’s usually the longest period of downtime and celebration in our diaries.

Can we learn something from the ritual and intentionality of ancient Easter candle traditions? Something to enhance our Easter weekend this year?

Using Easter candles to lean into self care and connection this Spring.

We are firm believers in the power of scent. The way our brains are wired to receive and respond to scent is fascinating and intricately connected to how we feel. More than any other sense, our sense of smell is wrapped up with our memories. It’s why scent can be so evocative and have such a profound impact on how you’re feeling.

We lean into the power of scent to help you connect with what you need more of in the moment. Sometimes that might be calm, others rest, or perhaps you need to connect with the seasons.

We also use our Original Scent Recipes to help create the perfect atmosphere at home. We designed our Home candle, for example, to create that irresistible sense of welcome. And our Celebrate candle is for those moments you want to feel light, joyful and celebratory.

So, this Easter, our intention and our invitation to you, is to use scent to lean into self care and connection. By investing in an Original Scent Recipe, that you connect with, you can turn the Easter weekend into an opportunity to nourish yourself after the toil and trials of the year so far.

We have a scent discovery quiz that, through a series of short questions, guides you towards the scent that will resonate with you right now.

Another way to approach is to consider: ‘What do I need more of right now’? and then navigate to the candle description that most resonates.

Turn your candle lighting moment into a restorative ritual

Another way to use Easter candles to support your self care and wellness is to turn a simple candle lighting moment into a restorative ritual.

We love the intentionality, precision and symbolism of the tradition Easter candles and their lighting. Can you approach your own candle lighting a little like this?

Our co-founder Roanna always lights a candle in her kitchen just before starting the bath and bed routine with her two young children. When the kids are asleep the house is then already flooded with fragrance, making her gear change into relaxation all the easier. It’s become an intentional ritual, both nourishing and comforting.

Two steps to transform your Easter weekend with scent

So, here are two short and simple steps that use Easter candles to transform your long weekend.

One: choose a scent you connect with, that resonates with you, and gives you a little more of what you need right now. More than burning a scent that you simply ‘like’, dig into the uplifting ability of scent to change how you feel and choose your scent accordingly. Do you feel stressed and are craving calm, then head to our Aromatherapy range. Do you feel blue and are craving comfort? Head to our Signature range. Do you feel a bit washed out, lacklustre and empty? Head to our Seasons range.

Two: create a simple ritual around when you light your candle over Easter weekend. Perhaps you could light a candle every time you sit down to feast together over the weekend? Kicking off the weekend with a candlelit Good Friday feast and closing it with a fragrant brunch on Easter Monday? Or, light a candle every evening over the long weekend but around the same time, helping to mark the transition from daytime busyness to evening stillness.

These two candles are perfect for Easter weekend

To get you started on your fragrant journey, here are three candles that are perfect for Easter weekend.

Celebrate Refillable Candle

Celebrate refillable candle
Filled with uplifting florals, our Celebrate candle smells like the most gorgeous bouquet you’ve ever received. It’s perfect for daytime, celebratory events like brunches, birthdays and long lunches.

Rest Refillable Candle

Rest refillable candle

If you’re hoping to use the long weekend as an opportunity to catch up on rest and finally put your feel up then you need our Rest scent by your side. Powerfully relaxing this blend of unwinding essential oils will lull you into deep breaths and early nights with ease.

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