NieuBethesda Arts Centre: Festival of Lights
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Last Updated: March 2019

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About NieuBethesda Arts Centre: Festival of Lights

The Annual Festival of Lights Nieu-Bethesda
The Annual Festival of Lights Nieu-Bethesda
The Annual Festival of Lights Nieu-Bethesda
The Annual Festival of Lights Nieu-Bethesda
The Annual Festival of Lights Nieu-Bethesda
The Annual Festival of Lights Nieu-Bethesda
The Annual Festival of Lights Nieu-Bethesda

Festival of Lights hosted by the Bethesda Arts Centre

Each year, on New Year’s Eve (Ou Jaars Aand  in Afrikaans) we hold the Festival of Lights at the Bethesda Arts Centre. This festival is a joyful celebration, as hundreds of candle-lit lanterns wind up the hill from the Arts Centre and through the village. But it has a special meaning for us as well. 
For many people, the coming of the New Year is a time for making changes in our lives, for throwing away old bad habits, and bringing in new, better ones. Most people make New Year Resolutions such as – “Starting from the New Year, I’ll exercise every day, I’ll eat better food, I’ll be on time every day, and I’ll work harder ….” The lights we carry in our Festival of Lights symbolise our hopes and intentions to start afresh in the New Year, and through our efforts, to bring light into the world.
There is so much darkness in our world – so much unnecessary suffering. In Nieu Bethesda one of the hardest things we face is the alcoholism. Alcohol brings great suffering to our people.  And in Nieu Bethesda, as in most places in the world, the excessive drinking of alcohol reaches its worst on New Year’s Eve. 

We started the Festival of Lights as a way of creating another way of bringing in the New Year at the Arts Centre.  For the adults, the money wasted on alcohol could be so much better spent on other things, and the abuse, misery, and neglect that often result from excessive drinking can be avoided. For children of alcoholic parents, the New Year is a time of fear and misery.

For weeks we prepare. We make lanterns. Those who would like to make a lantern may join a workshop during the two weeks before the Festival. There will be no workshops on December 31st. Please contact the Centre for details of workshops, dates and times. All welcome to make a lantern but children must be accompanied by an adult while at Centre. Materials will be provided and the Centre Artists will facilitate the workshops. For those unable to attend workshops who have purchased a ticket in advance, you will be given a lantern when you arrive at the Centre on December 31st.

For the evening we create a performance, and prepare an alcohol-free feast for everyone. And then without fear, singing our hearts out, we carry the lanterns as a symbol of our hopes and our joy around the village for everyone to share.

Tickets: R 180 p/p for adults and R 90 for children 12 years and under.
Ticket includes: A lantern, or lantern workshop.The performance, Walking in procession, The braai- food and drinks provided by the CentreDancing in the beautiful starlit Courtyard
This event is weather permitting. In the unlikely event of a thunderstorm, we will work around the weather as far as we can, using the studios and galleries. We regret that it will not be possible to offer refunds.

To purchase tickets, please write to info@bethesdatower.co.za or Telephone: Hilton on 073 028 8887 Or Sandra, Yvonne or Gerald on 049 841 1731 (9am – 5 pm) 

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