Ahhhhh a Bryant Bulldog’s favorite time of the year. Aside from the countless hours of studying for finals, it is easily the “Most Wonderful time of the year.” Along with everyone’s own personal festiveness, Bryant decorates campus with wreaths around campus, a menorah in the Interfaith center, and lights. Lots of Christmas lights.
A tradition held at Bryant every year (for the last 40 years to be exact) is the Festival of Lights. As students file into the Rotunda they are handed a candle that they are asked to hold on to. Students fill in and listen to songs sung by music groups on campus, watch dances be done by different dance groups and listen to remarks from Alumni and President Machtley. During the ceremony all aspects of religions and faiths that are present on campus are reflected through this ceremony as well. The tradition ends by the President lighting his candle, passing the flame to Mrs. Kati Machtley, and then the flame is later passed around to the point where all students are holding a lit candle and the entire Rotunda is illuminated with a burning glow. From the Rotunda students walk to the open field of grass by the pond. Here students stand around and watch as our Bryant Christmas tree is lit up. It truly is a beautiful sight.
While this is happening clubs will fill into the Student Center, hold tables and pass out cookies, hot chocolate and other treats. This event truly captures the warm feeling of the holiday season on Bryant’s campus. Students also get involved by decorating the large glass windows of Fisher Student Center where they painting murals that represent their vision of the holiday season.
It can be hard to be away from home, especially during the holiday season, but being here at Bryant, during this time truly reminds me why I chose Bryant in the first place: the tight knit community, appreciation of all cultures and recognition of special traditions.