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Lighting the Bayberry Candle

Lighting the Bayberry Candle

In our family we have a tradition of lighting a bayberry candle on New Year’s Eve. This tradition is very old and may have originated with the early colonists. Because it came from my MacGregor grandmother’s traditions, we always associated it with our Scottish heritage.

In the tradition, the candle is lighted on New Year’s Eve to ensure good luck and prosperity for the members of the household.

The candle is allowed to burn after midnight and to burn itself out. Never blow it out. If it burns all the way to the bottom than the house and all who reside there will be blessed.

Here is a poem that some recite when lighting the bayberry:

The bayberry candle comes from a friend

So, on New Years Eve burn it down to the end.

For a bayberry candle burned to the socket

Will bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket.


I often include a bayberry candle and the ritual of how to burn it as part of Christmas gifts.

As we began to celebrate the Winter Solstice, we incorporated the blessings of the bayberry in that celebration as well. We gathered around a bayberry and light individual bayberry candles from the one central candle.  We hold our candle to illuminate the readings we bring to the celebration. Each reading touches on light and renewal from a perspective meaningful to the individual who brought it and is sharing it with others.

I hope you find this tradition becomes something that brings you together with loved ones and friends and lights your way into the New Year.

Happiest and Healthiest of New Year’s to each of you.

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