The Luminous Ramadan Lantern
It’s that wondrously calm time of year again — a time of peace, self-reflection and redemption.
Although it has a fixed period of time to arrive every year, I personally believe that somehow, the holy month of Ramadan seems to arrive at a time when people need it most. People have endured a full year of stressful challenges, hefty worries, and upsetting moments. With Ramadan around the corner, this was our chance to finally rejoice in the commencement of this month of worship. Although the year had its bleak moments, Ramadan gives us the time to reflect on the beautiful experiences occurring throughout the year as well, and adopting kindness.
It is a luminous month, attracting light and brightness into one’s world — figuratively speaking, and literally.
Part of this glorious celebration is the annual tradition of hanging up lights around the house in the shape of crescent moons, and more importantly, luminous lanterns. These lanterns are the symbol of Ramadan if one were to ask the youth what they associate the holy month with. They are bright, big, and beautiful lanterns, carved with different patterns — floral patterns, Arabic calligraphy, or coloured glass. A candle flickers within the lantern, or an electric bulb, but either way, it is brilliantly bright and distinctively presents itself among the other Ramadan decorations. Children would have their own lanterns too — ones which they can play with among one another, while the adults marvelled at the ones they have hung up around their houses, or placed on their coffee tables.
What truly defines itself as a magical moment, almost as though you have stepped into a different world than our very own, is when you are the first person in your house to wake up during the late hours of a Ramadan night. You wake up to have your Suhoor, the meal you share with your family before Fajr prayers, and as you walk over to the kitchen — you find your electrically lit lantern, hung up in all its glory, and granting you with light within the darkness within a quiet setting. You can’t help but feel as though your heart’s been set to follow a gentle rhythm of heartbeats, and a serene smile tugs on your lips.
It even accompanies you when you are praying, having it propped up near you as you do, and acts as a reminder of sharing your joy with those you love. There is no room for loneliness in Ramadan, for even strangers help organise Iftar get-togethers to break their fast together in tents beautifully decorated with lanterns. It is truly a magnificent time of year, which presents itself as an annual reminder of remaining hopeful, staying true to yourself, and attaining the calm state of mind one ought to have.
So when you are walking down the street one day, and you find a luminous lantern hung up outside someone’s home, perhaps you might remember this writing piece and reflect on your own happy moments you’ve had this year too. There is much to be thankful for, always.