Have you ever heard the bayberry candle poem or tradition? Legend has it that a bayberry candle can bring you luck. I love bayberry candles and have always loved the scent.

Learning about the holiday tradition of sharing a prayer or poem with a friend became an annual thing for me.

You light the candle when the 1st star appears. Most importantly, you must time the lighting of the candle so it will stay lit until after midnight. Legend has it that will bring a year of prosperity and good fortune to the house.

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Coal Region Connections
bayberry candle tradition

Do you do this? We do. I always thought a bayberry candle for luck was a coal region thing (my family is from Mt. Carmel and Shamokin). But I understand now that the bayberry candle tradition is a tradition for many heritages.

Bayberry Candle Legend

I love this Christmas tradition! For families like mine who are trying not to have so much stuff, it’s a great way to acknowledge friends during the holidays meaningfully.

A Christmas card with a blue background adorned with delicate snowflakes.

I realize this has nothing to do with IEPs, but here it is. Every year I give a holiday bayberry candle to a few people, and I hate just handing them a candle and explaining it to them. So I made up a printable.

A good printable shouldn’t go to waste. Or be stored somewhere on my computer where I cannot find it next year. So, hey, turn it into a blog post!

Bayberry Candles

These bayberry candles come from a friend, upholding the bayberry candle tradition for Christmas Eve and New Year.

Bayberry Candle Tradition

  • What is the Bayberry Candle Tradition? Legend has it that the burning of bayberry candles during the Yuletide season would bring wealth and good luck throughout the New Year.
  • When did the Bayberry Candle Tradition begin? Burning a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve has been a coal region tradition for generations.
  • Is the Christmas Eve bayberry candle tradition different from the New Year’s Eve bayberry candle tradition? No. Both dictate that the candle be lit in the evening when you see the first star. Both also say that it should be lit until after midnight.
  • Why is it a bayberry candle? Bayberry candles are usually olive green and have a nice scent permeating the house. Bayberry candles have been in North America since Colonial times. This is likely why they were chosen, as they were a special treat during the holiday season. May this legend come true for you.
  • When do you burn the bayberry candle? On Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, or both!
  • When do you light the bayberry candle? You usually light the candle when the first star appears. Most importantly, you must time the lighting of the candle so it will stay lit until after midnight. Again, legend has it that it will bring a year of prosperity and good fortune to the house.
  • So, how is it a friendship gift? My late wife would always exchange two bayberry candles for the Yuletide. That, too, is a significant tradition. The candles were often joined at the wick. During the candle exchange, each would recite the poem below. (a reminder that I am republishing this from Coal region Connections)
  • Is there a special way to burn it? A tapered bayberry candle like those pictured below is burned on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Trim each wick to a maximum length of 3/8″ before lighting. Failure to do so could lead to improper burning.

Bayberry Candle Tradition Poem-Printable

I have two versions of the printable. When you give your candles to a friend, you can print them and include them with a card.


If this good-luck tradition is new to you, it’s not too late to buy a pair of bayberry candles and seek out a special friend for an exchange. May this good-luck legend come true for you.


Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas. May wealth and good luck make yours a truly Happy New Year.


I hope you like this bayberry holiday tradition as much as I do. It’s simple, meaningful, and easy to do.

Special thanks to Coal Region Connections on Facebook for their assistance with this post.

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