Fes­ti­val of Lights and Re­newal

The Star (St. Lucia) - - NATIONAL DAY -

The Fes­ti­val of Lights and Re­newal is part of the mer­ri­ment of Na­tional Day, cel­e­brated on De­cem­ber 13th. On this date our na­tion hon­ours our pa­tron saint and name­sake, Saint Lucy –the pa­tron saint of light, sym­bol­iz­ing the tri­umph of light con­quer­ing dark, good over­com­ing evil and the re­newal of life.

In Saint Lucia our Fes­ti­val of Lights in­cludes a lan­tern com­pe­ti­tion when lo­cals cre­ate lanterns out of pa­pier­mâché, wood, met­als and other ma­te­ri­als. These lanterns por­tray an ar­ray of themes – calypso and soca mu­sic, his­tor­i­cal events and build­ings, mys­ti­cal crea­tures and ev­ery­day ob­jects. Start­ing the first week in De­cem­ber, these fes­tiv­i­ties con­clude with a pa­rade of the lanterns, Christ­mas musical and dance per­for­mances, the light­ing of the Derek Wal­cott Square and a fan­tas­tic dis­play of fire­works, all on Na­tional Day. There has been a long tra­di­tion in Saint Lucia at this time of year, of the creation of lanterns to be hung orig­i­nally in door­ways of homes to ‘light the way’ and this has grown in more re­cent years into a cre­ative com­pe­ti­tion that starts off the cel­e­bra­tions around the first week of De­cem­ber. This year, The Fes­ti­val of Light Cer­e­mony is sched­uled for Mon­day, De­cem­ber 12th, at the Derek Wal­cott Square from 7:30 p.m. Par­tic­i­pants in the Lan­tern Com­pe­ti­tion will pa­rade the streets of Cas­tries with il­lu­mi­nated lanterns into the Derek Wal­cott Square where win­ners will be an­nounced and prizes awarded. The night’s ac­tiv­i­ties will en­cap­su­late Christ­mas tra­di­tions; high­lighted and cel­e­brated through a theme pro­duc­tion topped off with a py­rotech­nic dis­play of lights and fire­works.

Photo Cred­its: Bill Mort­ley

Par­tic­i­pant in the 2014 Fest­ti­val of Lights Lan­tern Com­pe­ti­tion.

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