The Egyptians and Cretans made candles from beeswax as early as 3000 BC.
Lamps and candles were in normal use in Christian worship by the 4th century, but for many years it was not customary to place candles on the altar.
The first known mention of the use of altar lights was a 12th century report that two candles flanked an altar cross in the papal chapel.
Colonial women in America offered a first in candle making by boiling the berries of bayberry bushes that produced a sweet smelling wax that burned clean.
It was a tedious task and the popularity soon faded, as it required 1 and ½ quarts of berries to make an 8-inch taper.
The whaling industry brought the first major change in candle making in the late 18th century with spermaceti, a wax obtained by crystallizing sperm whale oil.
Like beeswax it did not smell bad and actually was found to be harder than tallow and beeswax.In early China and Japan tapers were made with wax from insects and seeds wrapped in rice paper.Yak butter was used for candles in Tibet and in India wax was made from boiling the fruit of the cinnamon tree.Stearic acid became and still is today a vital part of the candle industry.Candles are often used as a sign of festivity and solemnity in Christian worship.However the candles had a very unpleasant smell due to the glycerin content.