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Holiday Lighting History with Christmas Décor Ottawa

Outdoor Christmas lights are an incredibly beautiful tradition that have graced and illuminated Ottawa for generations. Christmas lights in Ottawa have always been a great way to eliminate the grimness and dreariness of winter. But it's not just Christmas that uses lights to brighten winter – Hanukkah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa also bring lights in to celebrate winter festivals.

The histories of these festivals are an intriguing look into the festive and hopeful nature of so many cultures. This fascinated Christmas Décor Ottawa, so we decided to do some investigation into each culture's holiday celebrations and how lights made their way to the forefront of tradition. Read on to find out more about holiday lights so that you can look at your Christmas lights Ottawa with more appreciation and interest.

Diwali – the Festival of Lights
Diwali is an ancient Indian festival that has been known as the Festival of Lights for the central role that lamps and lights play in the holiday. Diwali originally was used to celebrate the end of the harvest season. However, these days the Festival of Lights symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. The festival takes place over 5 days during the darkest part of the year. The climactic night of celebration comes on the day of the new moon in the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartik.

The lamps, lights, candles, and fireworks in the festival represent each celebrant's internal light. Lights bedeck the interior and exterior of celebrant's homes.

Hanukkah – the Jewish Festival of Lights
Hanukkah began as a celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. It continues as a way for Jews to remember and celebrate their collective history. Hanukkah is an 8-day holiday with the recognizable fixture of candles called the menorah as the central item of celebration for the holiday.

Kwanzaa festival lights
Kwanzaa is the festival celebrated by African and African American cultures. Kwanzaa takes place from December 26 until January 1 to honour the 7 central principles of Kwanzaa. For every one of the 7 days of the festival, a candle is lit for the principles of Kwanzaa, which are cooperative economics, faith, creativity, purpose, unity, collective work and responsibility, and self-determination.

The main items used in celebrating Kwanzaa are the communal cup, corn or Mulhindi, the decorative mat called Mkeka, and the kinara candleholder.

The history of outdoor Christmas lights
Lights are a great tradition to celebrate Christmas around the world, and one that many Canadians remember fondly from their childhoods. The tradition of outdoor Christmas lights came from Germany around the 18th century, and originally began as candles around the tree.

At Christmas Décor Ottawa, we have to tip our hats to Thomas Edison for bringing electricity into outdoor Christmas lights. In 1880, Thomas Edison decided that he would try to introduce electricity to the holidays. He strung large Christmas bulbs from his Menlo Park laboratory compound as one of the first celebrations of light.

If you want to get the best Ottawa holiday lighting in town, call Christmas Décor Ottawa to receive your complimentary quote today!

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