Elon to host Festival of Lights and Luminaries event on Nov. 29

Join the entire Elon community for a university tradition and celebration of light that kicks off the winter holiday season.

The entire Elon campus will shine bright during the annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Campus organizations, faith-based and otherwise, will display the importance of light during what it considered Elon’s “most beloved tradition.”

Scenes from the 2021 Festival of Lights and Luminaries at Elon University.

Organized by the Truitt Center for Religious & Spiritual Life, the theme of this year’s festival is “Celebrate the Light,” which includes 10 interactive stations focused on the significance light has with the diverse religious, spiritual and ethical traditions, worldviews and identities on Elon’s campus.

“Tying everything to the theme of ‘Celebrate the Light’ really provides a snapshot or a peek into the way that different traditions celebrate the light. We believe this will be a wonderful way to celebrate the diversity on campus,” said Hillary Zaken, interim assistant dean of Multifaith Engagement.

The Winter Wonderland element of the festival is sponsored by the Department of World Languages and Cultures and will include eight campus language organizations in the Lambert Academic Village.

Members of the Truitt Center for Spiritual & Religious Life who played a role in planning this year’s Festival of Lights and Luminaries event.

The planning of the festival has been a collaborative effort by those in the Truitt Center as well as campus partners, which include Facilities Management, Technology Services, Catering, Student Involvement, Advancement and the Office of the Vice President for Student Life. “The campus is just magical on that night. But you can’t create magic without a lot of hard and important collaborative work across different divisions and departments,” Zaken said.

For more than 30 years, the festival has been open for all in the Elon community to enjoy. Over the last two years, Rev. Kirstin Boswell, university chaplain and dean of Multifaith Engagement and the Truitt Center Team have worked to make the event more intentional about what it represents.

“We are focused on creating spaces where our campus and community can learn about and celebrate each other and the world around us. Increased awareness and understanding of the common threads that run through the world’s religious, spiritual, ethical, and philosophical frameworks help us to see that we are not as different as we sometimes think. There is a value to this understanding as it enables us to live and work together in all of our diversity,” Boswell said. “Finally, creating spaces for all to feel welcomed and engaged on a more focused theme is the goal of the event. We hope that those who attend will leave more informed and spiritually enriched.”

Creating spaces for all to feel welcome and engage on a more focused theme is the goal for the event and the Truitt Center team and campus collaborators hope  that those who attend will leave more informed and spiritually enriched.

The rain date for the Festival is on Dec. 1 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.