When the Ballantine family lived in the John Ballantine House in Newark, New Jersey, now a part of the Newark Museum, they used candles to illuminate their home. Thomas Alva Edison, who was an American inventor and businessman, who invented the phonograph and the motion picture camera, changed history when he improved the electric light bulb in 1879. Now just by touching a switch homes and businesses were illuminated with clear light; people no longer had to work with poor lighting. People now used electricity in their homes which was safer than using candles.
Even though the majority of people worldwide use electricity in their homes, candles are still used today. Candles are used in religious ceremonies and during the holidays. They add beauty to homes with their different colors and make great decorations. Candles, which come in different shapes and sizes, make unique gifts. Some candles are even made like works of art. Scented candles, used in aromatherapy, help us to relax and unwind after a stressful day. Candles, which add such beauty to the world, were first used in China around 200 BC and were made from whale fat. Candles were not used in Europe or the Middle East until after AD 400. In the New Year, candles are a symbol of hope.