Holiday Traditions Shine at Celebration of Lights

The Rider community celebrated the holiday season during its annual gathering.
Meaghan Haugh
Students of many backgrounds celebrate their traditions at the Celebration of Lights.

Students of many backgrounds celebrate their traditions at the Celebration of Lights.

The Rider University community celebrated the season’s diverse holiday traditions during its annual Celebration of Lights on December 6 in Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room.

Pooja Mahesh ’13, diversity chair of the Student Government Association and president of Asian Students At Rider, gave the opening remarks. Jamiyl Mosley ’96, M.A. ’99, area director of Residence Life, shared one of his poems, The Coming of the Light Brigade, which was followed by the lighting ceremony of the unity candle. Members of the Unashamed Gospel Choir led everyone in a rendition of the Let There Be Peace on Earth, as guests, holding lit white candles, circled from station to station to learn about the traditions of Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, El Dia de Los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day), Diwali and Eid.

Standing by the Kwanzaa station, Ashley Theosmy ’14, president of Black Student Union, explained the purpose of the Celebration of Lights.

“It’s a way to come together to celebrate our diversity,” Theosmy said.

The annual event was hosted by Rider’s Center for Multicultural Affairs. Participating clubs and organizations included Rider Organization of Caribbean Affiliated Students (ROCAS), Protestant and Catholic Ministries, Asian Students At Rider (ASAR), Hillel, Black Student Union (BSU) and Latin American Student Association (LASO).

The Celebration of Lights began in 1991 when a small group of Rider people gathered at the main gate to light a tree and celebrate the many different holiday traditions that were part of the life experience of the Rider community during this festive time of year.