Know Much More About Candles
A candle is a light source usually consisting of an internal wick which rises through the center of a column of solid fuel. Typically the fuel is some form of wax with paraffin wax being the most common.
Prior to the candle being ignited, the wick is saturated with the fuel in its solid form. The heat of the match or other flame being used to light the candle first melts and then vaporizes a small amount of the fuel. Once vaporized, the fuel combines with oxygen in the atmosphere to form a flame. This flame then provides sufficient heat to keep the candle burning via a self-sustaining chain of events: the heat of the flame melts the top of the mass of solid fuel, the liquified fuel then moves upward through the wick via capillary action, and the liquified fuel is then vaporized to burn within the candle's flame.
The burning of the fuel takes place in several distinct regions (as evidenced by the various colors that can be seen within the candle's flame). Within the bluer, hotter regions, hydrogen is being separated from the fuel and burned to form water vapor. The brighter, yellower part of the flame is the remaining carbon soot being oxidized to form carbon dioxide.
As the mass of the solid fuel is melted and consumed, the candle grows shorter. Portions of the wick that are not evaporating the liquid fuel are themselves consumed in the flame, limiting the exposed length of the wick.
Candles made of beeswax are used in the Orthodox Church as a form of sacrifice and devotion to God or Saints. They are used in various Orthodox services and ceremonies and are symbolic of Christ, who is "the Light of the World." According to a different symbolism, the two elements of a candle represent the two natures of Christ: the Divine (the burning wick) and the Human (the wax body).
Candles in all shapes, sizes and colors are suggestive of love. Candles symbolize the Light of Christ. They are carried in procession; they are lit when we pray both at home and in Church. The most frequent cause of residence hall fires, are candles and other open flames. Candles, of any sort, including decorative or religious ones are prohibited in the halls (this includes candles with the wick removed). Incense, oil lamps, alcohol lamps and open flame burners are also prohibited in the halls.
Votive candles are small cylindrical candles about 2.5 inches (6cm) in height and 1.5 inches (4cm) in diameter. They melt into oil when lit, which requires them be burned in small glasses or cups made for this purpose.
Traditionally, votive candles were white and unscented, associated with religious ceremonies. Votive candles in red or clear glass holders are often found in Catholic churches at the feet of statues of worship. To light a votive is to make a prayer, usually for a specific purpose.
Today votive candles are sold for a variety of purposes and come in many colors, both scented and unscented. Their long-burning strong flames give off a pleasant glow and votive glasses make the candles fairly safe compared to taper or pillar candles that can be knocked over.
Many people enjoy burning scented votive candles while taking a leisurely bath, or using several to light up a room with golden ambience. Most votive candles burn between 5 ? 8 hours or more.
Votive candles are made from paraffin or wax, but there are different grades of paraffin with different melting points. Often paraffin is mixed with other types of waxes like beeswax or vegetable wax. This is done to obtain the rigidity necessary for the type of candle being made.
Depending on the quality of wax used, a candle may burn very fast or very slow. It may have a low melting point and produce little to no oil, such as a taper candle that sits in a candle holder ?ring,? or it may have a very low melting point and turn to oil, as with votives that sit in glass cups. Pillar candles, large candles often with multiple wicks, have their own formula. Candle quality also varies widely depending on the candle maker.
Aside from birthday candles, the only ?official? category of candles smaller than votive candles are tealight candles. These candles, about 1.5 inches (4cm) high and 1 inch (3cm) in diameter come in their own little tin cups and normally burn about 5 hours. Like votive candles they also turn to oil when burning and do not leave behind melted wax, but burn away clean.
Votive candles can be purchased virtually anywhere from the grocery store to import emporiums. They are handy to have on hand in case of a power outage because they burn slowly and flames are protected by their glass holders. However, when a votive candle is burning, the glass cup gets very hot and can easily burn a bare hand. If the hot oil should spill it could cause severe burning. Therefore votive candles are best left to sit in place once lit. A scented votive can add not only a nice glow, but a wonderful aroma to any home.
About the Author: For more information on Candlesl please visit the Candles resource center at http://www.candle-help-guide.info