The discovery of candle can date way back thousands of years ago. Where candles originated is not really clear. However, there were clay candle holders found in Egypt dating from the 4th century B.C. But the use of “wicked” candle was credited to the Ancient Romans. They utilized used papyrus and dipped it repeatedly in melted tallow, a sheep or cattle fat, or beeswax. There were also other civilizations around during that time that used wicked candles out of waxes from available plants and insects. Early Chinese candles are said to be molded in paper tubes using rolled rice paper as wick and wax from insects combined with seeds. In Japan, candles are made out of extracted wax from nut trees. In India, candle wax was taken from cinnamon fruit by boiling them. On the other hand, in America, there were records that boiling the bark of the Cerio tree produces wax in which they use in making candles.
* Pillar candles. They are solid and self-standing. They are usually round but may com in other shapes. They can sometimes have more than one wick.
* Taper or Dinner Candles. They measure 3/4″ to 1″ in diameter and 6″ to 18″ tall. They should be placed on a stable candle holder to be in an upright position.
* Gel Candles. They are produced from gelled mineral oils or gelled synthetic hydrocarbons. They are transparent, rubbery and are usually poured into various shaped containers.
* Floating Candles. They have a low, stable profile and are designed to float on water. They vary in form from simple, smooth designs to elaborate, realistic shapes.
* Container or Filled Candle are non-flammable, heat resistant containers which are filled with wax and wick. Containers such as heat resistant glass jars and ceramic pottery are commonly used.
* Specialty Candles may be found in any three dimensional shape imaginable. They can be molded or sculpted by hand and are mostly for decorative use.
* Votive Candles are normally 2 1/2″ high and usually square or cylindrical in shape. They are burned safely in small, heat resistant, glass containers to control the liquefied wax, as the candles burn.
* Tea light Candles are usually about 1 1/2″ in diameter and around 3/4″ high inside a cylindrical metal container. These small filled candles are used in food warmers or as candles in a tea light holder.
* Luminaria Candles are for outdoor use. They are placed in a container which is filled with sand.
History tells us the different sources of wax used to make candles. Depending on the type of candle, the ingredient also varies. Most commonly nowadays, paraffin wax is being used. Paraffin wax is formed by combining certain chemical substances. Thus, it is a chemical compound that is colorless or white, somewhat translucent, hard wax consisting of a mixture of solid straight chain hydrocarbons ranging in melting point from about 48 to 68 degrees centigrade. It is obtained from petroleum by dew-axing light lubricating oil stocks. Inside a candle is a wick which is made of cotton. It is where the light is produced. Scented oil and colors can be mixed. Others combine leaves, beads, or sticks for an additional trick and decoration to the candle.
The usage of candles is basically as light. As the modern life develops, the need for candles has changed so much. Candles have been used as air deodorant, decoration, even as wedding favors. Candle as a favor can come into many unique shapes, colors and designs. It is also very artistic to be used as a centerpiece on the reception tables in any occasions.