This design is dedicated to Hramnicy holiday that is celebrated in Belarus. Hramnicy can be akin in some way to western European Candlemas Day and Imbolc holidays.
One of the characters worshiped and featured on this holy day is a holy candle. Its traditional symbol is in the center of my design.
People light up their blessed Hramnicy candles during the church service and carry them home in the hopes the candles wouldn’t go out, so it can bring goodness to their homes.
From a Belarusan perspective, the Hramnicy candle symbolises the dual nature of humans. The candle corpus made of wax given by the nature represents a human body; and the wick made of handmade linen fabric represents a human soul.
It is believed that humans receive our bodies from God (or Mother Nature) the same way we take wax from bees. We grow our souls during our lifetime the same way as we grow flax, weave linen and twist a wick with our own hands.
The Hramnicy candle recalls the great opportunities and latent energy of life in man. Like fire, the energy of the soul can be destructive. And it can also warm up, heal, illuminate and guide.
The tamed fire of the soul can be called a will. A man with an awakened will is able to maintain and revive the culture and way of life.
It’s possible to light up a Hramnicy candle blessed at the Hramnicy service at any time of the year and pray for wishes. We can pray while stitching as well, according to Belarusan beliefs, since stitching is a magical action and connects the stitcher to the spiritual world.
Read more in our Issue 47.