With the sloppy sun god hidden behind the horizon, hibernating cozily all through the winter months we need to wake him up. We do it with as much light as possible and ask for the surplus from his side ! But the winter holidays really become special with the festival of lights.
During the winter months, Sweden gets only a few hours of sunlight in it's kitty. December 13th is the longest night in Sweden therefore it commands honoring St Lucia on this day with her festoon of candles. Folk tradition professes that she is the angel spreading the light of knowledge on this pitch nebulous night. Therefore, maintaining the tradition the oldest girl in every Swedish family is declared St Lucia on this 13th December. The girl is dressed up like a fairy with pretty white frilly dress, a red ribbon and a crown of candles on her head. A special bun called Lussekatter is made on this day and the girl who portrays the role of St Lucia serves the special bun to everyone. Indeed a fairy tale!
Hannukah is a Jewish festival of lights. As per legend, there was a great battle between the Jews and the Syrians. The Jews won it and when they went to their temple, they found out that the Syrians had smothered their sacred light. What remained was just an ounce of oil which could last the illumination of the sacred lamp for one day. But the lamp miraculously burned for eight consecutive days until new oil was brought in. This commemorates the celebration of the festival for eight days distributing gifts. Above all, the celebration calls for lighting candles as the Jewish believe light is the only way which wards off ignorance. This miracle also speaks of the great faith in our almighty which is hidden within ourselves. It also speaks of the thoughtful ways what mankind should follow.
Thailand, the booming holiday destination decks up celebrating the Festival of Lights in the month of November. It baffles everyone with raised eyebrows as what exactly Loi Krathong means? The explanation is-"Loy" means to float and a "Krathong" is a vessel specially designed as that of a lotus and made of banana leaves. The Krathong primarily contains a candle, three incense-sticks, some flowers and few coins. This festival basically starts on a full moon night where Thais are seen carrying their boats to the nearby rivers. People offer accolades of thanks to river goddess believing her to be the carrier of there sufferings and miseries. They also pray hoping she bestows good luck in return.The wishes made are believed to be accomplished in the new year. Truly, though these festivals come adorning different outfits with different colors but the soul of intent lies all the same. They all come embodied with a message "The darkness is not to be cursed; just light a candle in the world." This beacon of light itself would evade away all the miseries and would enlighten the gloomy mankind forever.
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