（Contributed by Sharan)
The winter festivals will soon be upon us. The first of which is the Festival of Lights. This is an auspicious occasion in the Indian calendar. It is celebrated in many cultures and religions, and it contains the universal message of hope through light. Some families may place small tea lights around the house when it gets dark, before sitting down to pray and have dinner together. There are various stories and background information regarding this festival, If interested, please look it up. This is definitely one of my favourites. I look forward to every year, and it takes place tomorrow.
The next festival after that is Halloween. Commercialised celebrations range from watching a scary movie with friends, to an all-out fancy dress ball. The apple dunking, pumpkin carving, trick or treating, face-painting, and festive cheer is definitely the most fun way to celebrate this somewhat scarily depicted evening. However, traditional church services that involve lighting candles and saying prayers are still observed.
A week later Guy Fawkes Night returns for the annual burning of fireworks, sparklers, and an actual stuffed guy. There are Firework display shows up and down the country. A beautiful array of colours light up the sky to celebrate being alive. A nice way to celebrate the House of parliament not being blown up! And again, this is another message containing hope, and to cherish your life.
These are just three light related festivals that I am looking forward to before Christmas and New Year,
Yes winter might be cold and dull, but there is an abundance of light to see us through to the New Year.
Happy celebrations to you all