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Now is the Time of Winter Solstice: A Look at the Lumina Tradition

By Abby Gaetz, originally published in The Plaid Post, a student-written and student-run publication with the mission of connecting Lincoln girls with what's happening monthly in the community and around the globe​.

Lumina is arriving fast. For Lincoln girls and faculty, Lumina marks the beginning of winter break and is looked forward to every year. 

To our new students or simply those who have never been: Lumina is the celebration of light in a time of darkness. Lumina at Lincoln is a dedication of peace in our community and in our hearts. During the celebration, we give thanks to all who have impacted our lives, celebrate the joy our family and friends bring to us, and welcome the light of the Winter Solstice into lives. On this day we dress in dark colors to symbolize unity within our community. As for our graduating seniors, they dress in white turtlenecks bearing candles as we enter Lumina to mark the light and wisdom they bring us, which is an age-old tradition at Lincoln. We celebrate with communal songs, readings from our seniors, and the performance of handbells. 

The celebration of Lumina originated in 1994, replacing the previous celebration of Vespers. Vespers and Lumina share similar themes surrounding community and peace. 

Vespers is a sunset evening prayer in Christian faith that is dedicated to giving thanks for the day as well as an offering of prayer to God. Just as we do at Lumina, Vespers is celebrated through song and rejoicing as well as readings. In contrast, Lumina is a celebration of the peace and light while Vespers celebrates thanks and praise to God. Both celebrations bring great meaning and tradition to Lincoln girls in our community. Whether you remember Lumina or Vespers, the tradition lives on in our hearts and faith. 

For more information on Lumina, visit: http://www.lincolnschool.org/alumnae/alumnae-events/2016-17-events/lumina

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