Traditionally, before Christmas, households in Germany and the Czech Republic light four candles on a Christmas wreath. The wreath is placed or hung over the dining table, and a candle is lit every Advent Sunday.
But candles are growing in popularity as concerns about gas rations and possible power outages due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plague the country. In addition to Christmas wreaths, it began to be used, for example, to illuminate homes.
“We see demand for candles of all kinds, including tea and candle waxes,” retail chain Bauhaus told The Guardian, adding that overall sales are up by about a quarter from the previous year.
As people spent more time at home during the pandemic, stores have seen increased demand for candles. “Continental sales increased significantly between 2020 and 2021,” said a spokesperson for the European Candle Makers Association.
“We had no idea what to expect this year,” adds Ann-Kristin Müller from Müller Kerzen, a West German candle manufacturing company with operations across Europe. “But for now, it looks like people are stocking up on candles for the uncertain pre-winter,” she explains. “My family has been in the candle industry for eight generations, and our business has proven very resilient to crises. In times of trouble, people miss the comfort of a flickering flame,” he concludes.
Germany has also reduced lighting in Christmas markets
Mulled wine, snacks and a Christmas atmosphere. After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus, Christmas markets are resuming across Europe. This time, however, their operations are limited by the energy crisis. For example in Germany they will therefore reduce the lighting.
Bavarian candle maker Gala has a similar experience. Initially, the company expected sales to drop to pre-pandemic levels, but that did not happen. “All the talk about print cuts encouraged people to stock up, so we didn’t see any difference,” says CEO Thomas Schröder. “The Germans have always had a deep desire to gather around an open fire,” he concludes, noting that the demand for candles is driven by cultural conventions rather than fear of power outages.
No threat of power outage in Germany
Germany’s Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Relief said this week that “a large-scale power outage in Germany is extremely unlikely” this winter. According to the German network regulator, the probability of regional outage is also low, mainly thanks to the introduction of many mechanisms to stabilize the network in the event of a temporary outage.
Despite these assurances, the Germans continue to buy candles in large quantities. In addition, some Christmas tree vendors now offer them as a more energy-efficient alternative to electric lamps.
In connection with the growing interest in open fire, the German public broadcaster ARD released a video advising people not to make a “tealight stove” for heating their homes with their own hands. He warns that the heat generated in such a situation is negligible compared to the potential fire risk.
Source: Seznam Zpravy
I am Joel Fitzgerald, a news website author for The News Dept. I have worked in the media and journalism industry for over 10 years and specialize in world news. My articles have been featured in prominent publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, where I am an expert contributor on global affairs.
I also write extensively on topics related to politics, economics, business, finance and technology. My work has been recognized with numerous awards from organizations such as the United Nations Press Corps and Associated Press Editors Association of America (APEA).
In addition to my writing career, I have held various roles within the field of communications ranging from public relations specialist to digital strategist.