• You don't like snow? Turn it off here:

Advent Calendar 19. Game

VonFink

Member
Early colonists discovered that the abundant bayberry bush had berries that would give off a waxy residue when boiled. They learned to collect and save the bayberry wax that would rise to the surface of the water and make them into taper candles. The Bayberry tapers burned longer and cleaner than the tallow version. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of bayberries to make enough wax to make a single taper. These Bayberry tapers were a real treasure to the colonists who saved them for special occasions - it was a luxury to be saved and relished. Soon, it became tradition to burn your candles on Christmas or New Years Eve to bring blessings of abundance in the upcoming year. It's not known who actually came up with the Traditional Bayberry Candle poem - but the tradition continues to this day!
 

Beefmeister

Well-Known Member
Hundreds of years ago, when colonial families settled in New England, they began taking care of the chores that needed to be done to set up their homes and most of these chores fell to the women. Women were in charge of making the candles their family would need throughout the year. The average colonial home would use up to 400 candles to light the home for a year. And, they would make the candles made from the tallow or animal fat from the animals that were slaughtered during the year.
 

Myrdin

Member
Early colonial settlers in North America found that the wax on bayberries could be used to make candles. It a luxury to burn these candles bc better than the ordinary not so nice smelly ones and difficult to collect in great quantities. So these candles were burned only on special occasions. Christmas was special so this tradition came to be about prosperity linked to burning candles that day and it has, of course, its own poem... Lit at the first star... burn until it snuffed itself our but long enough to burn until after midnight.
“These bayberry candles come from a friend.
So on Christmas Eve & New Years Eve burn it down to the end.
For a bayberry candle burned to the socket
will bring joy to the heart & gold to the pocket.”
 

Dubjean

Well-Known Member
When the first settlers arrived on our shores, every moment was one of survival. Everything was in short supply including candles. Generally candles were made of tallow (animal fat) which tend to smoke and give off an odor. They can turn rancid as well. It didn't take long for the early colonists to discover that the abundant bayberry bush had berries that would give off a waxy residue when boiled. They learned to collect and save the bayberry wax that would rise to the surface of the water and make them into taper candles. The bayberry tapers burned longer and cleaner than the tallow version. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of bayberries to make enough wax to make a single taper. These bayberry tapers were a real treasure to the colonists who saved them for special occasions. To have a bayberry candle was a luxury to be saved and relished. It became the tradition to burn your bayberry candle on Christmas or New Years eve to bring blessings of abundance in the coming year. It is not known who actually came up with the traditional bayberry candle poem. But the tradition continues to this day.
 

starshaped

Active Member
This tradition began hundreds of years ago when colonial families settled on the East Coast of America. They would make hundreds of candles each year to light up their homes. The candles were usually made from the tallow or animal fat from the animals that were slaughtered during the year. Tallow gave a foul odor so richer families would make their candles out of beeswax and bayberry instead. It took several pounds of bayberries to make a pound of wax so bayberry candles was seen as a luxury product and it became a sort of symbol of wealth and prosperity. Poorer families would save any bayberry candles they had for Christmas or New Year's Eve when they would light them and make a wish for better health, wealth and prosperity in the coming year, but you had to burn the candle all the way down to the bottom for an abundant life filled with joy.
 

Allan Quatermain

Active Member
Wondering about the beginning of the legend of the bayberry candle? Hundreds of years ago, when colonial families settled in New England, they began taking care of the chores that needed to be done to set up their homes.
Most of these chores fell to the women. Women were in charge of making the candles their family would need. The average colonial home would need up to 400 candles to light the home for a year.
And, they would make the candles made from the tallow or animal fat from the animals that were slaughtered during the year. I cannot even imagine what a difficult chore this must have been. And, I’m glad I don’t need to do it today.
As you can imagine, tallow can have quite an odor after it has sat around for several months. In richer families, the women would make their candles from beeswax or bayberry wax because the smell was much nicer than tallow.
Not all families could afford this luxury all of the time. So, women saved the bayberry candles for Christmas time or other special times of the year.
Because this was such a treasured tradition, the legend of the bayberry candle was born.
 
Top