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Isn’t it fascinating how all cultures have festivals about lights.

As the world outside gets darker, humans turn to light.

We create lights that are colourful, that are elegant, that are imbued with meaning and tradition.

The lights do several things: make the dark side outside less intimidating. A darks wood can feel threatening. A wood filled with twinkling lights is enchanting. Lights let us see where we are going and also create shimmers of possibility, of what could be.

Ultimately, however, the lights are meant as a reflection of us. Perhaps the reason the darkness can feel so scary is because it is an expression of darkness within us. What we don’t know. What we are afraid of acknowledging. What is hidden. The light we use for decorations are then also lights we wish to bring within ourselves. Lights of self-awareness. Lights of kindness. Lights of discovery.

There are many myths about who was given light and why – and who stole it. Light, knowledge, awareness, can be terrifying to institutions that trade in the shadows. To stories that live unquestioned, a new light shone on them can mean the end. Yet humans keep seeking the light. Each culture in its unique colours and shapes. All of us together sometimes discussing which light is brighter, more true, more beautiful. I think all lights need to shine. It is the only way to fight against the darkness.


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