Yesterday was the Winter Solstice – yippee, now the days will be longer, full of more light. Hmmm – is that one reason why the holiday season is called the Season of Light?
The Winter Solstice astronomically marks the beginning of shortening nights and lengthening days. Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of rebirth.
Then there’s Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, which began at sundown last night. It is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. The Temple was purified and the wicks of the menorah miraculously burned for eight days, even though there was only enough sacred oil for one day’s lighting.
According to the chabad.org website, Chanukah celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality.
And, of course, coming up later this week is Christmas, the holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. Jesus was born at a time when society was infested with spiritual ignorance and unrighteousness (superstition, greed, hatred, hypocrisy, etc.). He came as a spiritual guide (Guru) or Savior Form of God to guide people to Liberation from spiritual ignorance or ego (sin), the root cause of suffering. We each have the light and love of the Christ Presence within, which is our spiritual nature.
So there are numerous reasons for calling this time of year the Season of Light. I see it as a time that reminds us of The Light: the truth, the goodness, the God within – indeed great cause for joy and celebration.