Every year in Bodden Town, the Christmas season begins with the lighting of Northward Park.
The tradition began years ago when a group of neighbours decided they would make it a community event by dressing up the park as a result of a neighbourhood crime watch action.
The tree lighting event grew over the years and residents look forward to the night of children laughter, carol singing, sampling heavy cakes, twinkling lights and a sense of family unity to bring joy during the festive season.
But what really makes the occasion special is the lighting of the unity candles. This ritual seems to take on a magical atmosphere on its own creating a feeling of togetherness and reflections among attendees huddle together in a spirit of warmth and glad tidings.
As the flickers of light grew in tandem from the tiny candles being waved around, attendees Tina and Ondina Wood were overwhelmed with the Christmas Spirit.
“This is our first time to the event and I did not realise it would fell so good getting into the Christmas spirit, I can’t wait to attend again next year,” Ondina Wood said.
Other residents Osbourne Bodden and his wife, Nancy, as well as the Roses, the Fredericks, the Solomons, the Edens and the Daniels gathered under the moonlit sky and huddled closely while enjoying carols and the twinkle of Christmas lights.
Other festivities included a group of cousins dancing, poems and piano recitals, the Christmas message by Pastor Rose, which encouraged everyone to remember Jesus during the festive times. There were also cassava heavy cakes and the passing out of Christmas candies.
Bodden Town MLA Dwayne Seymour encouraged residents to not lose hope, but to trust in God and to remember others less fortunate during these times of economic hardship.
Orville Daniels and his wife, Lisa, also wished their blessing on everyone during the festive season and thanked those who had helped to make the event possible.
The rest of the evening was spent greeting friends and enjoying refreshments.