Courting… You light up my life…

Courting didn’t change much through the 1800s… and many of the traditions continued on from the 1700s in both the United States and England.

One of those courting traditions was the “Courting Candle.” While I can find no direct connection to England, there are numerous mentions in American history.

The candle, for the most part the primary light in a house after dark, would be set in the holder and the father or guardian of the young woman being courted would use the peg attached to the base to adjust the height of the candle. The young woman an her suitor would be allowed to spend time with each other in a sitting room so long as the candle burned.

The height ¬†of the candle gave the young man a good idea of how much her father held him in regard. If it was a tiny candle you weren’t liked very much and if it was a longer candle you had some hope of gaining her family’s permission for her hand. It was, as it always was, up to the girl’s family if they decide to ‘shorten’ the visit by shortening the candle.


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