Production of Honey Pastries and Candles

production_candlesThe production of honey pastries and candle making are over 1,300-year-old crafts. For centuries, honey dough has been used as a unique creative material in the framework of the specialised handicraft activity known as honey-bread baking. Honey-bread baking is also known as “lectarstvo” in the Slovenian language. It was named after the characteristic decorative honey-bread pastry called the lect or lecet.

It is a semi-durable pastry in the shape of tiles or various types of figures, which are either ornamental or resemble different objects. The honey dough is usually kneaded with rye flour, many times with the addition of different spices. Gingerbread that has been pressed into the wooden moulds, is known as Loka honey-bread (loški mali kruhek), while the hand-decorated variation of gingerbread is called Dražgoše honey-bread (dražgoški kruhek).

Alongside honey-bread baking, candle making was common due to the fact that after the third pressing of honey from the honeycomb, “lectars” were only left with beeswax, which had to be processed. They used candles to illuminate castle, monastery and church rooms. Candle makers poured wax into moulds to create votive figurines, which were bought by the rural population in good faith that they would help them obtain health and luck.