Candles and Death

by M-Rebeiro

According to FEMA, candles are responsible for 15,600 residential fires, 150 deaths and 1,270 injuries.

Candles are used ceremonially across nearly every religion, often as a symbol of reverence to the dead.

  • In Buddhism, candles are placed along with incense and other offerings as respect to the spirit of Buddha.
  • In Taoism, candles are placed upon a funeral altar with other offerings as a gift to help the soul pass on to another stage.
  • In Christianity, candles are primarily used for decoration but play a significant part in times such as Advent. They are often used as a symbol of offering to God or as a sign of respect at funerals. Specifically, there is the Paschal candle lit only at funerals and Easter, occasions of death, as well as baptisms.
  • In Judaism, candles are used frequently. Aside from celebrations like Hanukkah, funereal candles are burned for 7 days after the death of a loved one and again on the anniversary. A memorial candle is also lit in remembrance of losses during the Holocaust, on the day Yom HaShoah.

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