Etiquette & superstition: stagey candles

I got a scented candle yesterday from a co-worker that actually smells really good. This is kind of astounding in my book, a scented candle that I like. I may have mentioned this before. This afternoon another co-worker started burning a really horrible smelling scented candle, and for a while I considered lighting my candle and instituting a scent war, but I thought that wasn’t very considerate to the rest of the office. Also, I had already taken my scented candle home.

ETIQUETTE: It is bad manners to place new candles on display in one’s home without lighting the wicks first and then extinguising them. It looks stagey and artificial, and furthermore is sort of “ha ha, I have electricity and don’t need to use candles for light” braggy. Of course, the point can be made that lighting the wicks and then putting them out solely for the purpose of not having new-wicked candles on display is a little stagey and artificial, and I’m pretty sure a lot of people have electricity nowadays.

SUPERSTITION: There should never be three lit candles on stage in a theatrical production, especially for the actor nearest the shortest candle for whom it is said will soon be visited by death (or marriage); some believe it is unwise to even have three lit candles in one’s theater dressing room. This can make the staging of Hanukkah plays rather tricky in some circumstances.

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