Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An advent calendar of sorts. Day 13. Strike a light!

Candle light
One of the things that a lot of Northern Hemisphere midwinter festivals have in common is light. At this time of the year the days are getting shorter and many festivals are centred on the midwinter solstice - longest night. So it stands to reason that light in some form or another, candles, bonfires, etc, are included in the festivities.

  • In Hindu celebrations there is Diwali - the festival of lights - where small oil lamps are lit to represent the triumph of good over evil.
  •  The Jewish celebration of  Hanukkah involves lighting a nine-branched candlestick called a menorah.
  • Norse religions included the Yule log. 
  •  Icelanders light bonfires to mark Twelfth Night.
  • Christmas trees have lights on.

9 comments:

Sandra Davies said...

I've always said that if I was going to worship something it would be light, flame or sunlight - and if anyone finds out how to bottle the essence of just-blown-out-candle I'll be first in the queue for a sample.

snafu said...

In the modern world, we worship candles because after the winter storms, that is all we have to light our house whilst we are waiting for the power to be connected again.

Poohtle said...

A lot of people wish love and light, maybe this is somehow connected to these festivals although I've never made the link before.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anne .. candles give off an atmosphere all of their own .. I love the Carols by Candlelight some of the churches have for Midnight Christmas Mass ..

Fun Advent calendar post .. cheers Hilary

liv2write2day said...

This is lovely. I'd love for you to post it to my "light" prompt. It's not just for poetry and fiction. A number of people post essays.

Bodhirose said...

This is lovely. I like the idea of lighting candles or turning on festive lights. Somehow the lights on my Christmas tree are very soothing to me. And I love the festival of lights of Diwali as well.

Morning said...

thoughtful explanations, wow.

zongrik said...

very interesting post

liv2write2day said...

Thanks for linking to the prompt I put out there last week.