Holiday Lights

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Holiday Lights

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“HOLIDAY LIGHTS” is an original free-drawn computer painting by Celia Casper, resident of the Evergreen State, Washington. Celia has muscular dystrophy that affects her everyday functions. She is dependent upon the use of a wheel chair. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Celia Casper for THASC Sales Co. of Margate, FL. THASC has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and prude through their artwork.
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menorah
There are other holidays besides Christmas when candles and lights are used in diverse ways as THASC artist Celia Casper suggests in her painting. For example, they are also used during the Jewish Festival of Lights, which also usually falls in winter. This festival is called Hanukkah, which lasts for eight days when a candle is lit each night in a special candelabra called a “menorah.” The ninth candleholder, or “shamesh” (meaning: helper), placed above or below the others, is used to light them all each day. The lights should burn at least one half hour after dark after being blessed the first night.

Another modern winter festival called “Kwanzaa” uses seven candles (called the mishumaa) placed in a special candleholder called a “kinara.” Kwanzaa’s seven candles represent the Seven Principles. During the weeklong festival of Kwanzaa the candles which are placed on the kinara are: three red on the left, three green on the right and a single black candle in the center. These are the symbolic colors of the holiday. The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa are: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.

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kinara

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“kolach” bread
The custom of placing lighted candles in the windows at Christmas came to America with the Irish in the early nineteeth century and spread throughout the country. Even now electric candles and lights are seen in homes and in places of business. The custom of the Christmas candle still maintains its original pattern in a few countries. For example, in Ireland the mother or father of the family lights a large candle on Christmas Eve while the family prays for their loved ones, both the living and the dead. The Ukrainians do not use candlesticks, but stick the large candle in a loaf of bread called “kolach.”

 

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English Yule Log
In Austria, Switzerland and Bavaria, Christmas fires are burned at the summits of the Alps. The farmers carry lanterns down the mountains into the valley for Midnight Mass at the parish church with each lantern shining and glowing on Christmas Eve. In England, the tradition of the “Yule Log” has survived in many homes in which a huge log was specially selected to burn both during Holy Night and Christmas Day.

In the States, candles are connected to Christmas when placed in windows, stemming back to the symbolic gesture of providing shelter for travelers, as is reflected in the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph not finding shelter on the night of the birth of Jesus.

Whatever holiday lights you will be celebrating this year and whatever their origins, THASC artist Celia Casper has provided a diverse depiction in her painting “HOLIDAY LIGHTS,” which shows us that we all do have a common bond when it comes to celebrating the holidays, whether it be candles, fire, bread or wood.

Wishing you all continued happiness and rejoicing during this wonderful season.

I’ll be back on Thursday with another great THASC artist.

See you then.

-Maria
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THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.
www.thasc.com

6 thoughts on “Holiday Lights

  1. Dana December 8, 2015 / 7:07 am

    Maria,

    All candles at Christmas time are so pretty to look at,but the Kwanzaa, seven candles has a special meaning the Jewish festival of lights. I did bot know it represents the seven principles. Here we go again learning something new again this week. Well, Celias
    Painting, is a beautiful holiday candle light picture. Candles are placed in Windows, bread, Christmas fires, candles are a great way to express the holidays, and to celebrate them. I love having candles in the window of my home at this time of yr. Well, enjoy the holiday light’s every one, at this wonderful time of yr. Merry Christmas or shall l say Happy Holidays, everyone!!

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    • tesoromio315 December 8, 2015 / 8:48 am

      Dear Dana, There are so many other Holidays celebrated at this time of year that we sometimes lose sight that it is not only Christmas. I’ve enjoyed learning about the other ways that people celebrate during this time of year and I am happy to be able to pass on this information to my THASC readers like you. Have a wonderful holiday Dana!

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  2. tesoromio315 December 8, 2015 / 8:43 am

    Thank you to all of my readers and friends for your support each month, especially during holiday season. Peace. Maria

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  3. Rmelone December 9, 2015 / 3:07 am

    Maria, as always, your blog was most informative! Thank you for all of the research you do. I know how time consuming it is!!! I like Ms. Casper’s computer painting and how she depicted the light differently for each candle. Compliments of the Season!

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  4. Rosaleen Melone December 9, 2015 / 3:15 am

    Maria, as always, your blog was most informative! Thank you for all of the research you do. I know how time consuming it is. I like Ms. Casper’s computer painting and how she depicted the light for each of the candles differently. We all shine in different ways, too. Compliments of the Season!

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    • tesoromio315 December 9, 2015 / 7:23 am

      Dear Rosaleen,
      So nice of you to write such a lovely comment. Thank you. This is a very unique painting with a strong message. With all our diversity, we share the unity of love. Merry Chritmas, my friend!

      Like

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