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TLDR: A candle is a stick with a wick in the middle that you light to create light and sometimes a nice smell. It's made of wax or other flammable materials. People have been using candles for a really long time, and they have different uses like lighting, decoration, and religious ceremonies.

A candle is made up of a wick and wax or another flammable substance. When you light the wick, it melts the wax and creates a flame. The flame provides light and heat. The wax is fuel for the flame, and it burns slowly as the candle melts. The wick draws up the melted wax and vaporizes it, allowing it to burn and keep the flame going. As the candle burns, it gets shorter because the wax is being consumed.

Candles have been around for a very long time. In ancient times, people used oil lamps, but candles made from tallow (animal fat) and beeswax became popular in ancient Rome and Greece. In China, candles were made from whale fat. During the Middle Ages, tallow candles were commonly used, but beeswax candles were more expensive and used for special occasions. In the 18th and 19th centuries, spermaceti (a waxy substance from sperm whales) and paraffin wax became popular materials for candles.

Today, candles are used for various purposes. They provide light during power outages, create a cozy and romantic atmosphere, and are used in religious or ceremonial rituals. Candles come in different shapes, sizes, and scents to suit different preferences. They can be placed in candle holders or used with accessories like candle snuffers and followers.

While candles are generally safe to use, there are some hazards to be aware of. Candles can cause fires if not used properly, so it's important to keep them away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended. The liquid wax can also cause burns if it comes into contact with the skin. It's recommended to use candle holders and snuffers to safely extinguish candles.

In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of scented candles. They are often used for relaxation and aromatherapy purposes. However, it's important to be cautious when using scented candles, as inhaling high doses of fragrance can be harmful. Non-toxic and environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional candles have also been developed to reduce the release of volatile organic compounds into the air.

In conclusion, candles are versatile and have been used for centuries for lighting, decoration, and religious purposes. They come in various shapes, sizes, and scents, and can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. However, it's important to use candles safely and be aware of potential hazards.

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Note: This content was algorithmically generated using an AI/LLM trained-on and with access to Wikipedia as a knowledge source. Wikipedia content may be subject to the CC BY-SA license.