Candles serve many purposes -- decorative and utilitarian. For centuries before electric lighting, candles provided light for many homes and other places.
In addition to light, candles provide heat. They may be used as part of rituals, especially religious or romantic rituals. Candles can "set the mood" with a warmer, dimmer light than most modern, electrical lighting. In addition, the scent can evoke feelings. For instance, some people will burn a candle with an apple pie scent to make a house seem more "home-like" and attractive to prospective buyers. Candles are still used as back-up lighting for times when the electricity fails.
Another old use of candles is time keeping. A candle can be designed to burn at a specific speed and markings on the candle can indicate how long it has burned or still has to burn.
Candles are usually made of some kind of wick that carries the "fuel" to the flame and the fuel, usually wax. The wick can be string. And the wax can be made from bee's wax, petroleum (paraffin) based, animal fat or plant wax. Candles may also have materials added to give them a particular color or scent.
- time to burn
- emergency supplies
- natural light
- light bulbs
- candle sticks
- fire hazard
- home shrine
- Wikipedia's article on candle
- The Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday on Project Gutenberg