By Gail Marsh
Why do you think we see so many lights during the season of Christmas? All across the USA and Canada, families decorate both the inside and outside of their homes with lights.
People around the world also celebrate Christmas with lights!
In Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon, a towering Christmas tree is covered with thousands of lights—all green! They sparkle throughout the Christmas season. After Christmas Eve church services, the bright lights of fireworks explode in celebration!
Norway begins its Christmas celebration with an evening parade. Children are led through the streets by a girl who wears a wreath on her head. Nestled in the wreath are lighted candles. This tradition helps people remember the time when Christians were persecuted for their faith. Legend says these Christians hid in dark, underground tunnels. They were led to safety by a girl who wore a crown of candles on her head and carried a blazing torch to light the way.
Because Brazil is located in the southern hemisphere, people gather at the beach to celebrate Christmas. Bonfires are lit at night and a gigantic Christmas tree is placed on a large boat. The brightly lit tree floats through the city of Rio de Janeiro in celebration.
A giant lantern festival is held to celebrate Christmas in the Philippines. Over the years the size of lanterns has increased so that many today are more than 15 feet in diameter! These intricately made lanterns represent the star of Bethlehem.
Christmas lights are everywhere! Why?
[Jesus said,] “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5 ESV).
What do you think Jesus meant by his words? The following Bible verse came long before Jesus’ birth. The words foretell the coming Savior:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone (Isaiah 9:2 ESV).
Editor’s note: Today’s entry is slightly adapted from the activity book in CTA’s One Night in Bethlehem line of products. This activity book is designed for ages 7–11.