An iconic image of Lourdes is the tall, conical stand containing votive candles which are burnt constantly in the Grotto. Pilgrims may purchase candles (white, with a blue base) to be burnt here as a devotional gesture, or bring their own. Candles of many different sizes may be burnt in the Domain; the largest are two metres tall and require more than one person to lift them—such candles are usually bought by groups of pilgrims, and typically burn continuously for over a week.
For safety as well as convenience, candles are burnt together in large metal stands called brulières. Pilgrims may light their own candles, or leave candles to be burnt later. The brulières are tended by feutiers, attendants whose job is to ensure candles are burnt safely and evenly, and to remove the trays of melted wax which collects under each brulière.
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