Bayberry Candle Tradition and Poem

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The Bayberry candle tradition is a centuries-old practice. Typically it takes place on New Year’s Eve or Christmas Eve and is very easy to do. Read on to learn about this tradition and see if it’s something you might like to start with your family. A set of Bayberry taper candles also makes a lovely holiday hostess gift!

Burning Bayberry Taper Candle

Holiday Traditions for Good Luck

As the holiday season arrives, many of us find ourselves drawn to the charming traditions and superstitions that promise good luck and prosperity in the year ahead. There’s something inherently heartwarming about participating in rituals passed down through generations, each carrying its own story and significance. From hanging mistletoe for a kiss to eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, these practices are more than just fun—they’re a way to connect with our past, create memories, and hope for a brighter future.

There is a whole list of things to do on New Year’s to try for good luck in the coming year.

The Bayberry Candle Tradition

The Bayberry Candle tradition fits beautifully into this collection of holiday customs. It’s not just about the act of lighting a candle; it’s about the belief in the power of traditions to bring us closer together and usher in good luck and abundance. In a world that’s always rushing forward, these moments allow us to pause, reflect, and indulge in the joy of simplicity and the magic of old-world superstitions.

Candle in sink to burn out

A Tradition Steeped in History and Warmth

The enchanting Bayberry Candle tradition has its roots in the colonial era. Early settlers on the East Coast discovered the wonders of the bayberry bush and its unique wax, perfect for making candles that burned cleaner and longer than others. These bayberry candles were considered to be a treat when compared to regular wax candles. Because of this, they were usually saved for special occasions (such as the holidays).

Accompanied by a heartwarming poem – “A bayberry candle burnt to the socket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket” – this tradition promises prosperity and good fortune when you burn a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.

Bayberry Candles on Table

How to Perform the Bayberry Candle Tradition

  1. Choose a Real Bayberry Candle: The tradition specifies the use of a candle made from real bayberry wax. These candles are known for their natural, pleasant fragrance and the distinctive, slightly greenish tint of the wax. Finding a genuine bayberry candle is crucial for the authenticity of the ritual. I typically use a taper candle because I like to put them in my mom’s Lenox holiday candle holders. You can use any candle style you prefer!
  2. Setting the Intention: Before lighting the candle, take a moment to set your intention for the new year. This could be a silent wish, a spoken resolution, or a shared hope with loved ones. The tradition is as much about the intention and the spirit in which it’s carried out as it is about the physical act of burning the candle.
  3. The Lighting Ceremony: Light the bayberry candle after sunset on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. It’s a moment that can be made special by gathering family or friends, or it can be a quiet, reflective solo activity. The key is to make the lighting meaningful to you.
  4. Recite the Traditional Poem: As you light the candle, recite the traditional poem associated with this practice: “A bayberry candle burnt to the socket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket.” Another version of the poem: “A bayberry candle burned to the socket will bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket.”
  5. Let the Candle Burn Safely: Allow the candle to burn down, ideally until it goes out on its own. This is said to be crucial for the luck to hold. Never leave the candle unattended, and ensure it’s placed in a safe, stable spot away from flammable materials.
  6. Reflect and Enjoy the Moment: While the candle burns, take this time to enjoy the company of loved ones, reflect on the past year, and discuss hopes for the coming year. The warm glow of the candle and the shared experience can create a cozy, festive atmosphere.
  7. Dispose of the Candle Respectfully: Once the candle has burned down, dispose of the remnants respectfully. Some people like to bury the remains or place them in a natural setting, reflecting the candle’s natural origins.
Bayberry candle burned to socket

Celebrating with Light and Love

There are several sweet ways to incorporate the Bayberry Candle tradition into your holiday celebrations:

  1. Festive Candle Lighting: Light a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve after sunset. As it flickers and glows, share stories, hopes, and dreams with your loved ones.
  2. Gifting Good Fortune: Present bayberry candles to friends and family as a thoughtful gesture of well-wishing for the year ahead. Bayberry candles make a great hostess gift! Don’t forget to grab this printable poem to include in your gift.
  3. Holiday Displays: Create a festive atmosphere by incorporating your bayberry candle into your holiday decor. Combine it with holiday ornaments, greenery, or fairy lights for an extra cozy touch.

Enhance Your Tradition with a Special Touch

To add a thoughtful touch to your Bayberry Candle tradition gift, check out my best-selling printable poem on Etsy. Print out the poem and include it with your bayberry candle gift.

Get the printable poem.

Embracing the Glow of Holiday Traditions

Whether you’re lighting a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, embrace the warmth and joy it brings. We really love this tradition and look forward to it each year!

Here’s to a holiday season filled with light, love, and the sweet promise of good fortune. May your bayberry candle burn bright, and your holidays be even brighter!

Tall single bayberry taper candle

Do you participate in the Bayberry Candle tradition? Tell me about it! Leave a comment and share how your tradition looks!


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