Bayberry candle luck: A Christmas ritual to warm the soul

“A bayberry candle burned to the socket puts luck in the home, food in the larder and gold in the pocket.”

bayberry-tapers

My mother-in-law burned a bayberry taper candle down to the socket every Christmas Day, to bring the family luck for the coming year.

We adopted the tradition in our house even though I learned that my mother-in-law’s version of the tradition differed from the original. According to online sources, the candles were lit on New Year’s Eve and the flame had to continue burning into New Year’s Day to carry the luck forward.

I thought about changing our tradition to align with the legend, but then dismissed the idea. Traditions are rituals, and rituals should warm the soul, revive memories of loved ones and centre us in what is really important.

If I were to light a bayberry candle on New Year’s Eve instead of Christmas Day, it would feel all wrong.

So I’ll keep on lighting a bayberry candle on Christmas morning. When I do, it will warm my soul, it will remind me of my mother-in-law, and it will centre me in what is really important. 

And that, I suspect, will bring me more luck than anything. 

bayberry-nativity

4 thoughts on “Bayberry candle luck: A Christmas ritual to warm the soul

  1. marianbeaman

    Bayberry is one of my favourite scents. It reminds me of my Aunt Ruthie, who had a good nose for the excellent.

    Of course, you must have had a very merry Christmas! Happy New Year, Arlene!

    Reply
  2. Sheryl

    This brings back wonderful memories of bayberry candles that were lit when I was a child. Until I read this post, I hadn’t realized that they were supposed to bring luck to the family.

    Reply

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