All posts tagged: light

A Brief History of Christmas Lights

On his way back to home from a sermon on one winter evening, the 16th century German professor of theology and the seminal figure in protestant reformer, Martin Luther was awed by the elegance of stars shining amidst the evergreen trees. Fascinated by the spectacle he erected a tree in his own house and adorned it with lighted candles. It is believed that Martin Luther was the first person who added candles to an evergreen. However, the ritual of using the evergreens during winter festivals predates Christianity. Pagans used evergreen fir branches to illustrate life in the dead of winter as it would make them think of the spring to come. However, the tradition of illuminating the Christmas tree with candles approximately began in late 17th century by Germans. Even though Martin Luther had lit the first tree a century earlier, the first documented reference of lighting the Christmas tree dated in 17th century. In 18th century, the upper class homes in German would decorate their trees with candles which at that time was a …

A Festival of Light

Diwali is one of the most beautiful days in India filled with light, good wishes and joy. A festival that symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. There was a time when my brother and I would make lists of firework for these days and for our parents to buy for us. The elation would go on for days. Sometimes we’d collect dry leaves, especially leaf from banana trees and set them up on fire in the evening. It was kind of a warm up game for us before we’d start playing with the firecrackers. Though there is a different myth behind this ritual of setting the leaves on fire. it’s called Narapora or Burir ghor porano ( To burn an old entity’s house) and is performed to welcome the spirit of freshness, to burn all the evils inside us and that wander around. However, I had a different experience of Diwali last night. The neighborhood went absolutely dark after an electricity blackout for more than two …