Christmas, Hanukkah and Diwali Festivals of Light

One of the things that I love the most about the Holiday Season are the Christmas Lights. Christmas celebrations coincide closely with the Winter Solstice, the day of the year when we have reached the peak of darkness in our days and every day beyond that point offers a little more light.  Putting up lights helps celebrate this important turning of the seasons symbolically offering hope to all the world.

This year due to predicable variations in the solar lunar calendar,  two of the world’s major religions fell into sync on Saturday, when the first day of the Jewish festival Hanukkah begins at sundown, the same day celebrated as Christmas Eve for most Christians.  Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, is the Jewish Festival Of Lights.  It is no surprise that a little earlier in time and coming from the Hindu tradition Diwali is celebrated.  Diwali, meaning array of lights, is a Hindu light festival. It symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness.

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As a Landscape Photographer I am of course very much attuned and aware of these seasonal changes in light.  Starting with the Summer Solstice and gaining momentum as we approach the heart of the Autumn Season, moving into greater darkness is combined with the warm colors of fall foliage.  For many including myself this encourages an inner exploration of the darker parts of my soul and psyche.

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Exploring these parts of myself set the stage for awakening in the days following the Winter Solstice.  Each day gets a little longer, helping gradually awaken these parts of myself.

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Merry Christmas everyone, and may lengthening of the days bring Light, Peace, and Joy to your world, friends and family!

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