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Candles: history, customs, bazaars and ... "Do it yourself"

27 April 2013 / 15:04:26  GRReporter
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The history of candles

Easter candles are a custom that dates back to the ancient church. They were associated with the conversion of new members, which took place on the night of the Resurrection. According to the custom, in the first years of Christianity, the newly converted were always baptised on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, after a period of preparation.

In the exciting atmosphere of acceptance of new members, the candle symbolised the new light of Christ, which will illuminate the soul of the newly converted, as well as the sun of spring. The candle was a symbol of the light that Christ brings, beating death with his resurrection. The flame, as a manifestation of love, knowledge, and a new beginning, soon became a permanent part of the celebration of the resurrection. Each believer had their own candle. As time passed, the candle was no longer associated with baptism. Today, baptism is more private and more of a family holiday than a religious sacrament at Easter.

Of course, candles participate actively in Easter holidays. They have a special place on the day of resurrection, when, shortly before midnight, all the lights in the church go out and darkness falls. The priest comes out from the altar with a lit candle and gives the light of God to all believers.

Today's candle is, of course, a duty of godparents, who earnestly seek the most representative and beautiful candle for their godchildren. The only thing unchanged over the centuries, is the fact that the candle is a means of bringing the Holy Fire from the Church to the home on the evening of Easter.

Customs in Greece

In Giannitsa, in West Mani in the Peloponnese, as well as in other regions, on Good Friday, believers light their candles three times. Then, they leave them in the church or place them in front of the icons at home.

In Livadia, according to the custom, after the Resurrection, believers light a fire at dawn and one of them gives fire to the rest of the people with his or her Easter candle. The fire is used for roasting lambs.

In Agrafa, when the priest says "Christ is Risen" believers light lanterns. Children make a pile of dry branches up on the cliff, which is opposite Soufli, and, after "Christ is Risen" they rush with a candle in hand to light the lanterns.

Another custom of Agrafa called "fotikoma": godparents give their godchildren gifts - a candle and a bun. The fiancé is also required to send his fiancée a decorated candle, so that it stands out on the evening of Easter.

On the island of Tilos candles are called "loupies" and are made of a special blend. Children make a reconstruction of the resurrection of Lazarus: a child lies beneath the branches of a tree, and the rest sing the song about Lazarus.

In Epirus, the traditional ornament "martitsi" which is worn as of 1 March, is lit with the candle on the night of Easter in the church.

"Do it yourself" candles


If you want to make your own candle, you can easily do so. Find a plain candle according to your preferences. Once you have itl, pick ribbons, decorations, which you might already have at home and just stick them to the candle. All you need is inspiration and fantasy.

If you are a godparent of a baby who expects their candle from you, you have a difficult role. Buy toys, flowers and everything you can think of and make a candle for your godchild. Its uniqueness and your love will surpass even the most expensive factory-made candle.

A candle from the Easter Bazaar

The Association for the Protection and Welfare of Stray Animals looks forward to welcoming us all at its Easter Bazaar, organised on Sunday, 28 April at the Herakleidon Museum. There you will find new and used books at great prices, Easter candles, as well as T-shirts, key chains and all products of, at special prices for the day. Information: Herakleidon Museum, 16, Herakleidon Street, Thission,, Sunday, 28 April, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


The Organisation Love for All organises the second charity event for people and animals "Creating with love for all." On 26, 27 and 28 April at Technopolis in Gazi, 75 artists will present their works. Visitors will be able to choose from among handmade jewellery, accessories, Easter items, candles, ornaments, items for children, as well as vintage, retro and traditional products. Do not forget that in addition to the bazaar, there will be a lot of surprises for children and music by DJs. Information: Technopolis, 100 Piraeus Avenue , Gazi, Τel: 210 3475518, 210 3453548,, Friday, 26 April, from 1:00 p.m. to 00:00 a.m., Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 00:00 a.m., and Sunday, 28 April, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., free entrance.

The Train at Rouf


Tags: Easter customs candles charity bazaars
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