Votive Candles

What are votive candles and what makes them so appealing, as the latest trends show that the demand for candles is on the rise.

The earliest use of these candles is associated with religion, where they were lit to assist in the offering up of prayers or blessings especially in churches and shrines.

It’s no accident that the candles were used for prayer and worship, as for centuries candles have been associated with peace and other-worldliness and many believe the candle flame somehow links us to the spiritual life and beyond.
votive candles

Traditionally votive candles are about 5 cm high in a white or beeswax yellow.  Modern votive candles however though still small come in a variety of sizes, styles and colors.

They are also more likely to be scented. Candles now contain hardeners, which increase burning time and stop the candle from sagging.  You can still make candles using traditional methods and making candles for yourself or others is a rewarding, popular hobby.


Candles can set the scene for peaceful atmosphere; in times of stress sitting quietly in candlelight can help to soothe the soul. It is not surprising then, that in an uncertain world we are rediscovering the power of votive candles.

Because of their size, votive candles are ideal for a multiple flame effect and can be used to create a special visual display.

Floating candles are extremely popular at present, these are generally displayed in shallow dishes of water.  On a still night they are very effective floating in ornamental garden ponds or in the swimming pool.

Again because of their size candles are easy to transport, so many people who need to travel a lot pack their favorite candles.  They are then able to re-create their own personal atmosphere in unfamiliar surroundings.


Creating an atmosphere with candles can be greatly enhanced by using scented candles.  The ancients used essential oils to harmonize with certain moods and emotions. By combining candles with essential oils you are able to heighten the desired effect.

For instance, lavender, known for its relaxing effect, might be helpful to meditation. Geranium has uplifting qualities and might be helpful when you’re feeling down.  Perhaps you could try Juniper, if you need to be invigorated.

Essential oils are not the only scents used to impregnate candles; many people like to buy candles that are evocative of their favorite smells.
votive candles aromatherapy
Candles that are packaged in glass containers are very popular but most stores or online suppliers have a huge range of candle holders and there is quite naturally something for everyone.  Candles make beautiful gifts and have the advantage of being perfect for every occasion.


Naturally, candles being a naked flame means an increased risk of fire.  Care should always be used when burning candles of any sort.  For outside areas such as barbecues for instance,  candles in enclosed containers are a great idea.  Awareness of fire risk has encouraged manufacturers of candles to come up with softer options, so the risk of fire is minimized.


Fads and fashions come and go but somehow, now that we’ve rediscovered candles it seems unlikely that it will be a short-term thing.

Votive candles can be everything to everyone and maybe it’s this quality that makes them so special and keeps us coming back for more.  If a little flame can bring joy, inspire hope and make us feel good, then long may candles light up our lives.

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