Burn a Candle in the Window

We haven’t used candles as the main source of light for probably a century, yet the image of lighting a candle and placing it in a window is iconic. In truth, it was an act of defiance — and we can thank the Irish.

From the mid-17th through the late 18th century, the British government created oppressive laws to restrict the practice of Catholicism in Ireland. During this time of religious suppression, there were no churches allowed. Catholic priests were forced to hide out in the wilderness. The priests would sneak back into town during the night to have Mass with fellow believers in their homes. During Christmastime, Catholic families would leave their doors unlocked and a candle burning in the window to let the priest know he was welcome in their home.

With the many waves of Irish immigration to North America, the tradition took root and has continued to evolve. The once-defiant signal has morphed into a sign of welcome to travellers. By colonial times, a candle in a window let travellers know they had found a safe place to stay. This is what I wish for you — refuge.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support the magazine and the Western lifestyle that we treasure. Thank you especially for the continued support of the advertisers who are a big part of our vision, the writers and photographers, the idea people and the subscribers who phone for a visit or share an idea.

No matter how we feel now, we all agree that 2021 was a very interesting year. And to end the suspense — I know what is going to happen in 2022.

Life. Life is going to happen. Despite the best efforts of an entire world, babies are being born, marriage ceremonies are taking place, and relationships are growing deeper every day. Life cannot be stopped because life trumps tyranny.

To those who are living their best life in the wilderness, have fun, laugh, and live your life to the best of your ability, and remember the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln, “This too shall pass away.” And with that, light a candle for those we lost, and light one for the babies we gained — here in Canadian Cowboy Country.


From all of us at Canadian Cowboy Country we wish you and your families the very best of the holiday season.