Beaverton celebrates diverse holiday traditions: Consider the light in our lives
Albert Camus wrote:
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
As days grow shorter in December there is a longing for the lengthening of light across cultures far and wide. Rituals and observances this month testify to the enduring desire to repel the forces of darkness and rekindle the fullness of light.
The City of Beaverton’s Holiday Bazaar and Tree Lighting Event is a local expression of these global sentiments.
- Chanukkah among Jews celebrates the rededication of Jerusalem’s Temple and miraculous provision of oil for eight days with a single day’s supply.
- Yalda occurs around fires as Zoroastrians feast together and celebrate the winter solstice as a triumph of good over evil as nights shorten and daylight lengthens.
- Yule is celebrated the same day among Wiccans with evergreen wreaths, holly, and mistletoe. Logs are burnt for twelve days to drive away evil and welcome good fortune with the return of the sun.
- Christmas celebrates the arrival of the Christ child, the Light of the World.
- Kwanzaa among the African diaspora celebrates the community and culture as seven candles are lit over the course of a week.
Consider properties of light:
The sun is the source of life, light, and warmth for our planet. In constellations it guides us directionally and helps with the seasonal planting of crops. While camping, fire and light cooks food, provides warmth, and keeps wild creatures at bay. In medicine, light is used therapeutically for jaundiced infants, vitamin deficiency, skin and eye conditions, and mood and sleep-related disorders. Wintertime can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder, forgetting that an invincible summer dwells within us.
- How will you reflect light and warmth to others?
- What are the guiding lights of your life?
- How can you bring healing this month?
Rev Sybrant has a Masters in Divinity, Social Work, and a Doctor of Ministry. For more information, visit us at 15050 SW Weir Road | www.murrayhills.org | 503-524-5230