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The Evolution of Candle Use

Updated on June 12, 2014

The major composition that consists the candle today does not make difference than what it consisted of, back in the earlier times. Candles mainly compose of paraffin wax that is derived from crude oil, which in turn comes from fossil deposits.

Throughout history, the candle has played more roles than anyone can count. If a candle can speak, it can confirm the stories written by historians. But alas, they are only objects used to light the paths and aid the eye in writing documents.

In these modern times, we no longer use candles to study or read. Instead, much of the reason for manufacturers to continue producing these items is for religious and ceremonial purposes. However, the meaning and symbol attributed to it still stands true as of today. It still symbolizes light, guidance, enlightenment, bright future - those things that pertain to what it provides - Light. Almost all religions use the candle in their ceremonies. This includes the Roman Catholic, Christians, Buddhists and Judaism among others. Even in pagan and cult ceremonies, candles are used to symbolize certain principles and elements.

Aside from the things that we normally use the candle for, did you know that the candle was also used to tell time? True, in China, they used candles that have number markings on them such that when the burning wick reached a certain number, then is the time as of that moment. This was documented to have been first used by the Song Dynasty between the late 10th and early 12th century.

Today, candles can also serve many practical purposes. The wax that has melted down can be used as floor wax. Even crayons can also serve as such. The broken crayons along with the melted candle drops can be put together in one tin can and melt again to mix them together over lowest heat. When everything is mixed up, turn off the stove or set it away from the fire. Before it cools down, pour some amount of kerosene and mix well. After it cools down, it can then be applied to the stone floors and later wiped with a cloth to achieve the desired shine.

Remember how frustrating it is when a paper you printed with deskjet ink gets wet? Candles can serve to waterproof them. After printing a sticker label or paper, rub on the candle over the printed material. Try to experiment and see for yourself. Have that sticker label where you rubbed the candle wax on, over running water. Notice that it does not smear the letters? In fact, the water just flows away from the sticker label, right?

In the same way that the human race's needs and means of accomplishing things that requires the use of candles changed, so are the uses of candles. It is no longer limited as a light to help you read your letters and notes, symbols for religious ceremonies and the like, but has evolved into some practical day-to-day simple solutions.


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