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Symbolism in candle use


Lighting a Candle

Lighting a candle is a symbol ...

Of love and hope

Of light and warmth

Of celebration and commemoration ...


What does lighting a candle mean to you?



Symbolism in candle design

We are surrounded by signs and symbols in everyday life. Choosing text and various decorations for your candles makes them especially personal. See our various category listings and headings at the top for design suggestions. Listed here is some background information which you may find of interest.


A monogram consists of two or more letters. These may be the initials of one person or the first letters of a couple's given names. The choice of type/font and their arrangement - usually intertwined - may produce a beautiful and symbolic design on wedding candles and other ceremonial candles. 

The most frequently displayed monograms in Christian religion is XP, the Greek letters Chi (similar to X) and Rho (resembles a P), which are the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ. The combination of these letters gives the appearance of a cross, and as a monogram could be interpreted as the latin word pax, meaning peace.

Other letters often seen in Churches are ...

'A' and 'W' - Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet, representing God the Son ("I am the beginning and the ending ...").

IHS - the first three letters of Ihsus, the name of 'Jesus' in Greek.

INRI - representing the four initial letters of the Latin words "Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum", translated 'Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews' (St John 19:19).


There is much written about the colours representing wedding anniversaries (as well as gifts appropriate for these dates). We concentrate here on the traditionally celebrated 'round' anniversaries, and the colours expressed in the jeweller's language. These colours can of course be reproduced on candles, in wax embellishments custom designed for you ... see our category listing 'Celebrations' and contact us today to discuss your requirements ...

25 years - silver
30 years - pearl
35 years - coral
40 years - ruby
45 years - sapphire
50 years - gold
55 years - emerald
60 years - diamond


Rings - like a wreath and a circle, the shape represents never-ending existence, no beginning and no ending. Rings are the symbol of union, marriage and eternity.

Hearts - the symbol of love, but also affection, devotion, courage, sorrow and joy.

Flowers - the language of flowers has been in use for centuries. It symbolised moral meaning in medieval and Renaissance art -  Saints were often painted with a floral attribute to depict their virtues. 
During the Victorian era, flowers became a widely-used means of communication. A lady would send a beautifully scripted hand-written letter and enclose a pressed ox-eye daisy, which would indicate to the recipient that 'there is hope' ... so romantic! A wide range of flowers each had and still have special meanings attached to them. These are all Northern Hemisphere plants, and it would be interesting to find out if NZ native plants carry similar symbolism in mythology or today. 

Arum Lily - rebirth (transformation)
Aster - talisman of love
Begonia - a fanciful nature
Carnation (red) - admiration
Carnation (white) - pure and ardent love
Chrysanthemum (red) - I love you
Chrysanthemum (white) - truth
Daffodil - new beginnings
Gardenia - sweetness
Hibiscus - delicate beauty
Ivy - fidelity
Jasmine - modesty
Lily (white) - purity
Orchid - luxury
Ox eye Daisy - hope
Pansy - thoughtful recollection
Rose (pink) - perfect happiness
Rose (white) - charm and innocence
Rose (red) - love and desire
Rose (red & white) - unity (based on English History?)
Sunflower - respect
Sweet Pea - tenderness
Verbena - you may get your wish
Violet - modesty and simplicity
and: Lettuce - cold hearted


Customs and traditions connect us with community and family, give us a foundation to build on and happy memories for life. Start your own tradition by lighting a candle at the dinner table, or a Life Light to celebrate each of your children's birthdays (see listing 'Child Birthday') or a Remembrance Candle for a loved one on their anniversary.

Further information will be added to this column from time to time, and you are welcome to share your knowledge or research through our enquiry page.







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