Light Up The Darkness
In the world of folklore almost every society has festivals and community gatherings that light up the winter’s darkness.
Here are some examples of contemporary celebrations:
Thailand’s Festival of Lights. This Yi Peng is held in early November and celebrates the end of the rainy season. People gather together to release floating lanterns into the sky and lit boats into waterways. These lights are intended to bring good luck in the coming year. Activities include parades, musical performances, fireworks and food.
Budapest Christmas Fair. This month-long festival begins at the end of November and runs through December. It is filled with concerts, show and Christmas-related events. Folk artists sell their wares and traditional Hungarian foods, such as goulash, can be sampled.
Shetland Viking Festival. In Shetland, Scotland people set their town on fire at the end of January. Up Helly Aa celebrates an old Yule tradition in a modern way. A torch processional - some say there are over 1000 torches - to a Viking longship starts the festivities.
Sapporo Snow Festival. In February Sapporo, Japan is alive with artistically created snow sculptures. It is one of the country’s largest festivals.
Regardless of the location, it seems that all of the festivals offer an opportunity for people to enjoy their community.B