Legend of the Bayberry Candle
This bayberry candle comes from a friend, so on Christmas eve burn it down to the end. For a bayberry candle burned to the socket, will bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket.
One thing I have done for many years is to give a set of Bayberry Candles to many of my family and friends. I include the legend of the bayberry candle poem and tie a fabric bow around them for a Christmassy touch.
Legend has it that the group of women who discovered bayberry wax started the colonial tradition of giving bayberry candles as Christmas gifts. When the first settlers arrived on our shores, every moment was one of survival. Everything was in short supply including candles.
Generally candles were made of tallow which tend to smoke and give off an odor. They can turn rancid as well. It didn't take long for the early colonists to discover that the abundant bayberry bush had berries that would give off a waxy residue when boiled. They learned to collect and save the bayberry wax that would rise to the surface of the water and make them into taper candles.
The bayberry tapers burned longer and cleaner than the tallow version. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of bayberries to make enough wax to make a single taper. These bayberry tapers were a real treasure to the colonists who saved them for special occasions.
To have a bayberry candle was a luxury to be saved and relished. It became the tradition to burn your bayberry candle on Christmas or New Years eve to bring blessings of abundance in the coming year. It is not known who actually came up with the traditional bayberry candle poem. But the tradition continues to this day.
Many believe that the light of the bayberry candle on Christmas Eve will welcome the Christ child into their homes. Legend states that the Bay Tree sheltered the holy family during a storm and as a result lightning will never strike it.