I talk to my clients quite a bit about finding the “Golden Threads” when it comes to their branding and how to create a connection between their passion, purpose and profits. It’s the common golden threads that become your signature — your brand — the reasons why your followers feel comfortable working with you.
As we make our way through this 2013 holiday season, I notice the “sparkle” of lights popping up in neighborhoods and retail areas. Within our diverse circle of friends, family and clients, the use of light — be it with candles, twinkle-lights or fireworks — seems to be one of those “golden threads” helping to create a global community.
Many of our neighbors adorn their homes with lights, glitter and “all things that sparkle”. Our community is one of many faiths, each celebrating their own traditions — which ironically also involves the use of twinkle lights and candles — I guess it’s our attempt to bring back the magic of childhood, while at the same time add some light on our shorter, mostly-gray winter days.
- Diwali: Starting in November with the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, is often celebrated with food, dancing, parties and colorful lights hanging everywhere. Lamps, candles and fireworks are lit, representing the celebration of family and community.
- Hanukkah: Also known as the Festive of Lights, Hanukkah uses the eight-branch Menorah to light a candle on each of the eight nights during the holiday. This age-old tradition is associated with the miraculous burning of the Menorah during the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
- Bodhi Day: Observed on December 8, Bodhi Day celebrates the day in 596 BC when Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Lights symbolizing enlightenment are strung around the home or along pathways during the 30-day celebration.
- Saint Lucy’s Day: A Scandinavian tradition on December 13, where the female chosen to play Lucia wears a white robe and crown of candles, chasing away the winter.
- Winter Solstice: The word “solstice” is derived from two Latin words: sol (“sun) and sistere (“to stand still”) — essentially the day the sun “stands still”. The winter solstice occurs on or around December 21, and marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. Historically, candles, fireplaces and lights have symbolized “lighting a path”, “enlightenment” and “rebirth”.
- Christmas: The most obvious symbol of Christmas are lights – Christmas candles, window lights, luminaries, lights on the Advent Wreath and Christmas tree. All signifying to Christians that Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.
- Kwanzaa: The kinara candle ceremony is the center of the Kwanzaa celebration. Candles have two primary purposes: to symbolically recreate the power of the sun and to provide light. The celebration of life through candle-burning uses the seven candles of Kwanzaa…three red, three green and one black.
- New Year’s Eve: Many New Year customs that include “light” actually date from ancient times. Diverse cultures and countries around the world display fireworks in celebration of new beginnings, typically at midnight. In China, firecrackers are known to dispel evil. In New York, the Times Square crystal ball “drops”
Whatever your celebrations may be this holiday season, may the Golden Threads of Light that we all have in common serve as a precursor for a most marvelous New Year in 2014!