For hundreds of years, lighting a candle has been a way to show respect for those that have died. This beautiful gesture shows that although someone may be gone from this world, their memory will endure, and the light of their flame will continue to inspire and guide others.
Worldwide Candle Lighting Day is a celebration of solidarity and memory. It’s a day on which people around the world gather to light candles for children who have died and to show that they will always be loved and never forgotten.
The candles are lit at the same time in every time zone, meaning that a consistent warm glow passes around the planet for a full 24-hour day.
History of Worldwide Candle Lighting Day
Worldwide Candle Lighting Day was a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friend. The Compassionate Friend’s Worldwide Candle Lighting Day started in the United States in 1997 as a small internet observance in honor of children who lived tragically short lives for any number of reasons, from sickness to accidents, to war, but has since spread throughout the world.
Nowadays, hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held in many different countries and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.
Many organizations join in to observe this holiday, some f which are local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children’s gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers, and remembrance services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand over the years since the creation of this special day. All of this just goes to show how necessary it was to set this day aside for this purpose.
How to Celebrate World Candle Lighting Day
As mentioned before, this day is celebrated with a quiet elegance: at 7 p.m. local time, people light candles for one hour to remember their loved ones. It is a moving occasion that bypasses geographical and cultural divides. As everyone lights their candles at seven pm local time, far-flung parts of the world get illuminated in turn, so that eventually the light has moved all around the globe.
If you have experienced the loss of a child in your lifetime, this is a good moment to honor his or her memory by taking part in the candle lighting. You could also invite some close family members to spend this time with you and light their own candles for the late child.
This doesn’t only have to be a sad occasion, however. Children’s lives are mostly filled with fun and laughter, so reminiscing about all of the things the child you are honoring managed to enjoy before he or she passed may serve to lighten the atmosphere up a little bit.
Of course, nothing will ever make up for the loss of a child, but there is some solace to be taken in the fact that the child’s life was a good one, however short. No matter whether you’ll be lighting a candle at home or joining a gathering Worldwide Candle Lighting Day it is a way to show love and community.