A torch is a stick with combustible material at one end, which is ignited and used as a light source. Torches have been used throughout history, and are still used in processions, symbolic and religious events, and in juggling entertainment. In some countries, the word "torch" is used as the term for a battery-operated portable light.
Torch construction has varied through history depending on the torch's purpose. Torches were usually constructed of a wooden stave with one end wrapped in a material which was soaked in a flammable substance. In ancient Rome some torches were made of sulfur mixed with lime. This meant that the fire would not diminish after being plunged into water. Modern procession torches are made from coarse hessian rolled into a tube and soaked in wax. There is usually a wooden handle and a cardboard collar to deflect any wax droplets. They are an easy, safe and relatively cheap way to hold a flame aloft in a parade, or to provide illumination in any after-dark celebration.
Modern torches suitable for juggling are made of a wooden and metal or metal only stave with one end wrapped in a Kevlar wick. This wick is soaked in a flammable liquid, usually paraffin (kerosene).
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