It is the last month of 2020.
The days are getting shorter and soon it will be Christmas. Therefore I have noticed that more people than ever, have decorated their home and garden with sparkling Christmas lights. In other words, we need light and clarity more than ever.
For me it has been a tough Corona/Covid year. My country, the Netherlands, is facing a new five-week lockdown. As of today, only the supermarkets are open and as a result Christmas shopping is no longer possible. Above all Christmas won’t be a real family celebration this year because we are only allowed to invite two guests to join.
Chinese light in dark days
Because it’s not possible to travel, I’ve dived into my archive. And there I found a short documentary about the making of a Chinese lantern festival that I made a while ago with MOZO Productions (now Diepzeekonijn) for the Confucius Light Festival in the Hortus Haren.
A group of forty Chinese craftsmen came to The Netherlands. They lived for over a month on the grounds of the Chinese garden in the hortus. In a traditional way, they made a large number of colorful lanterns. Un-Dutch working conditions, cardboard welding glasses, building drawings on the pavement and more… But at the end of that December month, the dark and cold winter evenings were beautifully illuminated by the many lanterns that the Chinese lantern builders had made. The hortus Haren was transformed into a true fairy tale landscape.
Lantern festivals have a very long tradition. In the early Han dynasty, it was Buddhist monks who put on lanterns on the 15th day of the lunar year to honor Buddha. Over the centuries, this use has spread throughout China. Today, Chinese New Year Light festivals are held throughout the country. Symbolically, the Yuan Xiao Festival stands for reconciliation, peace and forgiveness.
Although it is not yet New Year, this short video might bring some light in dark times…
My Chinese Lantern photo prints are available here
and you will find my other prints here
click here to watch The making of a Chinese lantern festival documentary