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Bells, Candles, and The Festival of Lights

[ Winter ]

Origins of Mid-Winter Celebrations
Some Traditions and The Nature Religions
Saturnalia and The Feast of Fools
Bells, Candles, and The Festival of Lights
My Christmas Links Page


Early pagan winter celebrations featured the ringing of bells in order to drive out "evil spirits". The tradition later developed a Christian side and so began the tradition of ringing bells on Christmas Eve to welcome in the Spirit of Christmas. At one time, people believed that ringing church bells would protect them from lightning during thunderstorms.



Lighting candles during the holiday season comes from the pagan custom of lighting fires during the solstice season to appease the sun-god as he reached the lowest point in the southern skies. The Christmas candle is similar in tradition to the Yule log. Both are lit on Christmas Eve and burned throughout the evening. Like the Yule log, a proper Christmas candle could not be bought, so many friendly grocers made a practice of handing them out to their customers. The Yule log tradition says to preserve a small piece of the log for next year's fire and the candles' tradition advises the same. to uphold the custom, one must save a bit of the burnt-down candle to preserve it from one year to the next as a lucky charm for the household.

[Christmas Candles]

[Candles and Ribbon]


The Festival of Lights

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