Friday, November 30, 2012

Day of the Little Candles

Lanterns in Quimbaya, Quindio Colombia
The Day of the Little Candles or Día de las Velitas is a custom practiced all over Colombia in honor of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The way each state in Colombia celebrates the Day of the Little Candles varies according to the region. 

Lanterns in Quinchia, Risaralda Colombia
We feel extremely blessed that our Aupair- Angie from Colombia, also a member of the Children's Rosary, has offered to share this custom with us here in West Hartford, CT USA.  The picture of Our Lady depicted in a lantern was taken in Angie's hometown of Quinchía, Risaralda Colombia.  Festivities start in her hometown on November 29, with the Aurora Rosary (called like this because it is done at 5:30am), and from every night until December 7th (the night before the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception).  On the evening of December 7th, lanterns are put in front of homes and in the streets with candles inside.  There are processions to honor the Immaculate Conception.  They carry a statue of the Virgin Mary through the streets finishing at the Church where they end by saying the rosary.  

Each of the nine days a different group of people is in charge of the novena, for example the first day the butchers are in charge of it, the second day traders, etc. The last day (by tradition) corresponds to all drivers of any type of transportation.

Angie has been with our family for 11 months and not only has been a tremendous help with the children  but also prays three rosaries with the children daily. She has been such a blessing to our family as my disability prevents me from helping the children with many things. 

Below is step by step instructions on how to make one of these lanterns to be used on the Day of the Little Candles.  
Choose a template or model with figures that you like, whether the Virgin Mary, flowers, Christmas figures etc.
Then proceed to draw the figure
The figure is carefully cut
Use colored tissue paper and paste it into the spaces left in the lantern
Stick the ends to form the lantern

Finally, the lantern is ready to put the candle inside and light our homes
The Children's Rosary feels honored and blessed to be able to join in this Colombian tradition to Honor Our Lady's Immaculate Conception.  Check back after December 7th for pictures of the candle lighting to be held  in West Hartford CT USA!

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