Festival of Lights from Around the World

by Deb

In December, our year of community programming finished up in an appropriate way: with a presentation of how many cultures around the world celebrate with a theme of light this time of year.

Have you heard of Diwali? Hanukkah? Christmas? Loy Krathong? That was the question from our presenter, Cindy Arnold of Live Paint, who has traveled extensively in Asia studying the stories and celebrations of different cultures. She shared how much various celebrations had in common, with lights (candles, lamps, fireworks), family gatherings, special foods, and gift-giving. We all began to laugh in appreciation as our group’s cultural-celebration list grew longer and longer.

For our program, we focused on Loy Krathong, celebrated in Thailand. We created krathongs – little rafts or baskets that are traditionally decorated with flowers and a candle. We had fun making our flowers and candles out of paper, and then with the lights dimmed, we took a moment of contemplation as we knelt by our glittering fabric “river.” We set down and floated our krathongs with our good wishes. It was a special moment of connection for all who came.