To purchase to to Santa Rosa Candles on-line shopping at www.zocalostyle.com.
Of course, candles are a romantic must, but in Michoacán they are a craft, a symbol of faith, and have lighted the way of the Dead and Magi for hundreds of years.
The wicks were made of string or rope which unfortunately caused much smoke, but was not of concern in the highly vaulted ceilings of ancient churches or when used in the village cemeteries during Muertos.
Only when commercial demand increased did candle makers establish cooperative locations in which to work. This was of great relief because many houses in Michoacán are made of wood (the traditional troje), and the danger of pots of melted paraffin around small children was evident.
With this change, quality improved, the offering of sizes expanded, and craft persons had safe environments in which to work. What has not changed is the hand bathed method in which the candles are made, and the golden stamp that appears on every candle signifying the patron saint of the household of the candle maker. Although creamy in color, the candles are 98% paraffin, 2% bees wax, and have never contained any scent (only the Padre gets to burn incense in church!).
The most fantastic use and display of the candles is on the night of Muertos, November 1, in the villages surrounding Lake Pátzcuaro. The night is aglow in the cemeteries of Tzintzuntzan, Ihuatzio, Cucuchucho and Tzurumutaro as hundreds of thousands of burning candles guide the souls of the dead back to earth to rejoin their families in spirit.
Yes, there is indeed a type of magic
in these candles that is felt as you hold one in your hand, and certainly
as you light one in the dark. The beautiful velas of Michoacán
are guaranteed to bring good spirits into your casa!
January 6, 2003