Alternatives to a Candle Lighting Ceremony | MitzvahMarket | MitzvahMarket

Alternatives to a Candle Lighting Ceremony

Alternatives to a Candle Lighting Ceremony


The tradition of having a candle lighting ceremony honoring friends and family is a staple in many modern Mitzvah parties. The custom evolved as a way to bring together important people in your life for a photo op and to be recognized in front of your guests, usually with a cute poem or quip to introduce each person or group of people. People have managed to get creative over the years, finding new and unique ways to incorporate their party themes, likes, and the people closest to them into their ceremonies. You may find that you like what a candle lighting ceremony represents, but you’re ready for something completely new and different. If you’re looking for some new honorific inspiration, here are six creative ways to keep the sentiment of candle lighting without falling to the same old, same old.


Sand pouring

A candle lighting ceremony is all about unity and bringing together people from different walks of your life. One thing about candles though is that they can’t stay lit forever. In that vein, why not have each person or group called up pour colored sand into a clear jar, like in the example below. This can act as a visual representation of all the people who came together for the big day, and can last forever as a display piece in your house or your teen’s bedroom.


Weave/pick a thread

Similar to pouring sand art, colorful threads or string can be used to visualize everyone at your party becoming one collective unit there to celebrate the B Mitzvah teen. Assign each person or group you’d like to honor as a different colored thread, and have them help snip the thread when they’re called up. After the big day, the threads can be woven together into one piece, symbolizing unity while still highlighting the individuality of each person.


Place photo on a collage

If you already have photos of the B Mitzvah teen with the special people in their life, having friends and family help build a collage of important moments is a great alternative to candle lighting. With precut photos of all the people you intend to honor at the ready, have each group come and help the teen place the photos on a poster board. Once you get your party photos back, you can fill in the gaps with new photos taken that night! The collage will serve both as a way to honor people in the moment, and as a scrapbook of sorts of the big day.


Plant a seed/flower

In the theme of growing and maturing that is so central to a B Mitzvah, planting a seed or potting a flower is a perfect representation of your teen becoming a Jewish adult. With small pots and store bought flower seeds, each group can plant a few flowers that symbolize the nurturing relationship they have to you and your family. Once the seeds sprout in the days after the party, you can transfer them to your windowsill or home garden for a living reminder of the special relationships in your teen’s life.


Beads on a necklace

Just like threading something together from different yarns, beads of all shapes and sizes can represent different moments and people in your life. Not only will it create something beautiful and unique, but something wearable that can be held onto for life, too.



This one could get a little messy, but that might be just the right thing for your teen! Have each of the guests honored make a handprint in ink or paint or even in clay, like an art project that everyone contributes a small part to. Since the goal of the ceremony is to celebrate and unify, the hands of loved ones organized into some shape or pattern can really hold a lot of meaning.

At the end of the day, a candle lighting ceremony or any alternative is about bringing together the ones that are close to you and your B Mitzvah teen. Anything you can imagine that will honor your people and meet your teen’s wants and needs will be a special and meaningful moment that will last you a lifetime. Be creative and have fun with it!

Posted in Mitzvah Ideas, Mitzvah Ideas, Candle Lighting