The tradition of having candles lit in your window during the Holidays is different for each culture. They have different origins, different religious beliefs and different styles. It is common to display the lights in the windows now as a simple and elegant decoration to celebrate the Holiday season. The journey that this tradition took to America is interesting and probably told many different ways, depending on your ancestry. No matter where your family comes from or how they celebrate the holidays, the use of lights has become a tradition used by many to brighten up their home and make it feel festive for the holidays.
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The tradition of lighting candles in the windows of homes during Christmas was brought to America by the Irish.
The tradition started when the English were persecuting the Irish. Ireland’s religion was suppressed. There were no churches allowed. Priests had to hide out in the wilderness in caves. The priests would sneak back into town during the night to have mass with fellow believers in their homes. Families hoped that a priest would visit them on Christmas to celebrate the Holy Mass of the savior's birth. When Christmas came, they would leave their doors unlocked and a candle burning in the window to let the priest know he was welcome in their home. They told the English authorities that they left the door unlocked and the candle lit to guide Mary and Joseph to their home and let them know they are welcome. The English thought nothing of this tradition.
The custom of the candle in the window has since lost its traditional meaning. The tradition was brought to America in the early nineteenth century. It has now become wide spread across thenation for many different reasons. They even have electric candles now to use in your windows. The reasons are different but the candle in the window is still a simple and beautiful way to light up your home and make it festive for the holiday season.
Adding holiday cheer to your home is always exciting this time of year. You can use your candles to direct family and friends to your home to share in new holiday traditions and memories. Enjoy this time of year and spread the holiday cheer and love through your windows and out into the world.