From birthdays to funerals, candles are part of different traditions and cultures. Candles have different symbolic meanings for different events. Who could ever go without candles during birthdays? Every child, and even some adults, look forward to blowing out the candles. Christian weddings also include a candle ceremony. No funeral is complete without candles. More than just a source of light, candles serve a symbolic purpose for different events in our lives. Birthday candles - It is customary to blow out your candles on your birthday. Many people use their age to determine the number of candles to put on the cake. However, as people get older, it is accepted to just use one candle. The act of blowing out candles is often associated with making a wish. People gently close their eyes and wish for something while they blow out their candles. Regardless of age, the blowing out of candles is one of the anticipated moments in a birthday celebration. Birthday candles are thin and short so that they can easily be placed on the cake. There are also candles that are molded to resemble a number. This type of candle is widely used by older people. Wedding candles - Wedding candles or unity candles are part of many Christian weddings. It symbolizes the union of two people who love each other. The candle ceremony will start with the bride and the groom holding separate candles. The separate candles each of them holds represents their lives as an individual. The couple will then walk toward the unity candle and then use their own candle to light the unity candle. The lighting of the unity candle represents the couple's lives together. Instead of separate from each other, their lives will be bound as one. Finally, the couple will blow out their individual candles signifying the end of their separate lives and the beginning of their new lives as husband and wife. Candles to commemorate a dead person - Candles are used to remember special people in our lives. They are often lit up during unique occasions such as when a death has occurred, an anniversary, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the like. In the case of the death of a loved one, people commemorate the life of the person who died. The loss has left a void in people's lives. Although dead loved ones are physically gone, they remain in people's hearts for a long time if not forever. It is a simple way to give importance to the dead. Lighting a candle is people's way of saying "you are not forgotten." Together with the lighting of a candle, people offer prayers and love to the departed. Candles for a cause - Candles have a unifying element that binds people with the same purpose. People who are fighting for a cause use candles as their symbol of unity. In protests, they are often used to symbolize their mourning for lost hope or unsatisfied need. The victims of violence often use candles to attract attention to the fact that the lost lives are important and worth fighting for. People or groups, who fight against AIDS, cancer, and other diseases, use candles to commemorate the casualties and to reach out to other people who are undergoing the effects of the disease. Hundreds of people lighting candles at the same time at the same location make it an attention grabbing event. Candles are tools in uniting people to fight for a cause.