Students at Stony Brook got the chance to learn about diverse holiday celebrations at the 17th annual Festival of Lights, held in the Student Activities Center, Ballroom A on November 29.
The festival is an “intercultural program were our diverse campus community can further appreciate the cultural significance of our most widely observed holidays,” according to the Festival of Lights Committee, which includes representatives across campus administration and club organizations.
“Every year, the goal of the festival is to bring people together to celebrate and to learn about other people’s traditions,” Cheryl Chambers, Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs, said. “Our campus community is so diverse that we can always be learning and sharing with each other.”
Holidays represented at the event were Hanukkah, Christmas, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Native American Celebrations, and Three Kings Day.
Each holiday was stationed at its own table around the perimeter of the ballroom. A long table for holiday crafts was toward the back of the room, and in the center of the ballroom were chairs set up facing the stage and a set-up for student performers.
Each holiday table offered information about the culture and holiday it was showcasing, and each had their own presentations on their respective holidays and their cultural significance, including student performances of holiday songs.
Autumn Rose Miskweminanocsqua Williams, 2017 Miss Native American USA, spoke during the Native American Celebrations presentation about the importance of celebrating the Winter Solstice, saying, “For me it brings a sense of pride, and I hope all people have the same sense of pride in who they are and where they come from.”
The event also featured additional performances from the Stony Brook Ringers and CADENCE Step Team.
If you missed out on the holiday celebration this year, you’ll have to hold tight until next fall semester when the festival returns for its 18th year.