A “kandili” (“kandilia” in plural) is a small sized glass, filled with a little water and oil and a wick on top which holds a flame. All orthodox churches have “kandilia”, many of them hung in front of icons.
Lighting the “kandilia” in all chapels every Saturday afternoon and on the eve of major Christian feasts or of their celebration day demonstrates the profound faith of the Tinians. Sometimes the custom takes the form of a vow. So, many Tinians, as a sign of gratitude, supplication or thanksgiving to a saint, promise to go to the church dedicated to him/her, light the “kandilia” and leave the rest of the oil in its bottle there, so that it can be reused. If the “kandilia” are already lit, they add oil to keep the flame for a longer time.
In any case, lighting the “kandilia” always goes together with candle lighting and “livanisma” (burning a tiny piece of black coal with incense on top of it). Offering these three things (oil, wax and incense) is the only Christian material sacrifice preserved since the years of the Apostles. It is highly symbolic and its value is not associated with the material offered, but with the religious devotion of pilgrims. In general, lighting the “kandilia” expresses the brightness of the souls of the faithful. Their flames are likened to the light of the Holy Spirit and the brilliance of all saints, who are deeply rooted in the hearts of Tinians.