People of many cultures, traditions and religions around the world around this time of the year, use the symbol of light to bring the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance with the intention of driving away the physical darkness of winter and the spiritual darkness of hopelessness and fear.

To those marking the Hindu “Festival of Lights” – a special happy Diwali which has begun. Diwali is five days of celebration where, on Day 1, homes are cleaned, rangolis and kolam are made and decorative art is drawn with rice flour; homes are decorated with clay pots (Day 2); on Day 3 (today), the height of the holiday, best clothes are worn, lamps are lit to bring as much light as possible into homes and fireworks are ignited bringing light and colour to the sky. Then tomorrow (Day 4),considered to be the first day of the new year, the focus will be on thanksgiving and reflection; and the final day of Diwali (Day 5) siblings are celebrated and the bond between them is honoured.

However, it’s not just those of the Hindu faith who use the symbol of light to banish the darkness. When we watch the news and become disenchanted, distressed, concerned or fearful by the expanding negativity, hatred, fear, it might be good to remember the words of President John F. Kennedy – “what unites us is greater than what separates us” and light a candle to symbolize the bringing of light into the darkness of the world.

For example, many … put a light in their window in the ancient tradition of Winter Solstice … light the Menorah candles on each of the eight days of Hanukkah … begin their seven nights of Kwanzaa by the lighting of the Kinara … light the candles on each of the four weeks of the Season of Advent … place lights around homes, in wreaths and trees throughout the Season of Christmas.

However we shed light in the darkness, may joy, hope and peace surround you at your special times of celebration. And may the light shine … from within each of us … through each of us … beyond each of us. May it be a Merry, Happy, Joy-filled Diwali, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Advent and Christmas.

© June Maffin

© June Maffin
Photo: free photo from PixaBay