Question: Why are there red nails in the Paschal candle? (F.V.)
Answer: The five nails have grains of incense imbedded in red wax at their heads. The incense represents the aromatic spices brought by Mary Magdalene and the other women to anoint the body of Jesus at the tomb. The nails themselves, with their heads of red wax, represent the five major wounds of our Lord's crucifixion.
The paschal candle is made from the pure wax of virgin bees, and is therefore taken as a symbol of the sinless body of Christ acquired from the Virgin Mary. The flame is sometimes said to symbolize His divinity, hypostatically united to His humanity in the symbol of the wick running through the length of the candle.
The paschal candle may be further decorated with the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and omega, to symbolize the eternal existence of Christ; and with the number of the year to mark the passage of time since the Incarnation.