Lights for dark times
BRIGHTSPOT: Attendees showed their gratitude
the darkest day of winter at Domino Park on
Dec. 21. Photo by Dean Moses Families celebrate Solstice Lantern Festival at Domino Park
for their loved ones while celebrating
COURIER LIFE, JANUARY 1-7, 2021 21
OUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE BOROUGH OF KINGS
BY DEAN MOSES
For one night, Brooklyn’s Domino
Park was transformed into a maze illuminated
by hundreds of glowing lanterns
meant to serve as the light at the
end of a very dark tunnel.
Two interlocking spirals of electronic
candles made up the fi rst Winter
Solstice Lantern Festival and Labyrinth
of Light on Dec 21. Families were
encouraged to bring their own candles
and follow the incandescent pathway
between the handmade lanterns leading
to the display’s center point before
following an identical route out to
where freshly made hot chocolate was
waiting for them.
In the shadow of the Williamsburg
Bridge, children and adults alike marveled
at the intricate network of lanterns.
They also got a chance to gaze
upon the “Christmas Star,” the conjunction
of Jupiter and Saturn in the
sky, a once-every-few-centuries rarity.
Artistic director Debra Sheldon,
founder of the Secret Lantern Society
NYC, expressed the importance of coming
together on the darkest day of the
year during an especially dark 2020.
“I have been waiting to do this for a
really long time but this year I thought
it would be so important to bring love
and the gift of bringing people together
around something we all share,” shesaid.
“We all share the darkest night,
we all share this change of the season,
so it is something to connect us.”
The coiled lanterns represent the
mathematical Fibonacci Sequence,
which Sheldon sees as the basis of
all life. She also expressed the poetic
beauty of entering the radiant web
from the north and exiting at the south
on a night when Saturn and Jupiter
aligned to the southwest.
Through this symbolic walkthrough
on what marked the shortest
day of the year, Secret Lantern Society
NYC hoped to heal the pain wrought
from the global COVID-19 pandemic
and a tumultuous election. The meditative
ritual, Sheldon said, offered all
attendees, regardless of faith or political
opinion, the opportunity to converge
in a fun, safe environment.
For Williamsburg resident Maryann
Rekuc, the event was exactly what
she needed to start fresh in 2021.
“I came to the solstice because I
have gone through quite the year,” she
said. “I have come to terms with 2020
and this seemed like the perfect way
to cap it off. I walked through with my
candle repeating my intentions for the
The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
lasted from 5 pm to 8 pm and was
accompanied by gentle music throughout,
provided by the Sound Bath.