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Essayists explain the meaning of the Leesburg Luminary Sunday

Lead Summary
Leesburg Luminary Night Contest
Seth Allen

What Luminary Sunday Means to Me

The glowing flickering lights inside milky white bags lead the way down a
peaceful town street. This is the sight of Luminary Sunday in beautiful
Leesburg. Luminary Sunday is a day when citizens of Leesburg purchase
Luminary kits to light the town at night. The profits of the sale go to
benefit the stop of preventable blindness.

The Lions Club is an International organization that has a goal to stop
preventable blindness. There are 1.3 million men and women in 205 countries
that belong to the Lions Club. Other projects that the Lions Club are a part
of include participating in vision and health screenings, building parks,
supporting eye hospitals, awarding scholarships, aiding youth, and providing
help in times of disaster. They recently recruited 3,000 volunteers to build
a playground for kids of all abilities in California. The organization also
came together to feed 60,000 people in a township in South America.

The sights of the Luminaries are breathtaking. You see flickering lights on
every corner that reflect off your face. The lights are calming and soothing
and make you feel as though the world is at peace and there are no troubles.
You hear the soft conversation of others and the low crackle of the dying
flames.  You taste the cool bitter air and feel the cold breeze dance around
in the wind.

The night of Luminary Sunday makes me feel warm and cozy inside, even though
the cold wind licks my face. To me, the lights of Luminary Sunday lead the
way to stopping preventable blindness.  Luminary Sunday is a beautiful and
peaceful night that radiates a good message to all.

Lights on every corner
Unveiling themselves everywhere
Moving people stop to watch
Incredible white bags
Never letting the light blow out
Always radiating beautiful sights
Ready to illuminate through the long night
Young and bright these lights shine on

Shining all through the town
Under every street light
Now they burn out
Done until next year
Already it’s come to pass
You are sad then you remember, next year it will be back

Leesburg Luminary Night Contest
Queen 2009
Alyssa Woleab

Luminary Sunday

Close your eyes and picture a small town; where there are no busy
interstates or malls, no sirens or horns. A small town with only one little
market, a church on every corner, and a playground in the center of town
where the children play. The houses are decorated in Christmas lights that
reflect off the snow covered street to create a wonderland of blues, and
reds, and greens. The sidewalks are lined with white bags that hold a candle
that lights the path for the villagers who are walking up and down the
street singing Christmas carols.

You may be asking yourself if such a place could really exist or is it just
a scene from a dream, but the little town of Leesburg. The little town that
I call home!

The night that I just described is a special night in Leesburg called
Luminary Sunday. The luminary is a night hosted by the Lions Club that
allows the community to come together to raise money for people in need.
Luminaria is originated from Mexico and is defined as a Mexican Christmas
lantern consisting of a lighted candle set in sand inside a paper bag. The
town's people of Leesburg, including the churches and local businesses, buy
kits from the Lions Club that contain white bags, candles and sand to line
their sidewalks. The money made from selling the luminary kits goes towards
buying glasses for people in need. The Lions Club promotes the sale of kits
with their motto, “A light for a life.”

The Lions Club is a group of men and women, known as Lions, that come
together to help others in their community, county and world. The Lions Club
is broken into local, district, state and national chapters; the
organization even extends the borders of the United States and International
chapters all over the world. Throughout these chapters, the members of the
Lions Club strive to help individuals in need in a very unique way. The
Lions help others by working to prevent blindness all over the world and do
this by, conducting vision and health screenings, supporting eye hospitals,
and donating glasses to people who can’t afford to buy their own.

The Lions Club also helps out the youth in their community by awarding
scholarships, building parks and assisting youth in need. In times of
disaster, the Lions Club is always ready to help. The Lions Club eases the
pain and suffering of those less fortunate and brings healing and hope to
people worldwide.

On Luminary Sunday, the streets are lined with luminaries that light the way
for villagers. The local shops and businesses light their sidewalks and stay
open late to serve food and drinks to the townspeople walking by. The
streets are silent except for the sound of snow crunching under my boots,
while my sister and I sing Christmas carols as we go from house to house
looking at all the lights and decorations. In the distance, you can hear
laughter from the townsfolk who are enjoying a warm cup of cider at the
bank, and children giggling while they wait outside the post office for the
chance to see Santa Claus. In the cool night air, when the breeze blows I
can smell fresh cinnamon and pine coming from the candle factory.

As I walk into one of the stores to escape the chill and the warm air hits
my face, I can smell fresh cider and sugar cookies awaiting me. As I shake
the snow off my boots, I reach for a warm cup of cider to try and warm my
hands. I can see the steam coming off the cup and take a deep breathe so
that I can smell the apples and cinnamon. As I take a sip, I can feel the
warm liquid running down my throat and instantly feel warm inside, and wish
that I could stay longer in this warm and inviting place.

After my family and I are done caroling and visiting the shops, we join the
community at the local church who is hosting the evening service. At the
service, the towns’ people gather together to sing Christmas carols, listen
to songs performed by the high school choir, and see the crowning of the
King, queen, Prince and Princes of the Luminary.  During this time, the
winners read their reports on Luminary Sunday and what Luminary means to

Growing up, I have always loved Luminary Sunday; it was a magical time,
where anything was possible. I used to ask my grandpa the meaning of
luminary and the reason why the streets were covered in lights for this one
night. He always tried to explain the purpose of luminary to me, but I never
understood.  Now that I am older, I am still overwhelmed by the luminaries
and dazzled by all the lights. When I was younger, my favorite thing was to
see Santa Claus and eat sugar cookies and drink hot cider until my tummy
hurt.  But now, I know the real meaning of Luminary Sunday and get a warm
feeling in my stomach, not from the hot cider, but from the joy of helping
others and spending time with my family and friends as we celebrate together
the real reason for the holidays!

Leesburg Luminary Night Contest
1st Runner up Prince
Clayton McKibben

Luminary Sunday

Click. Click. On goes lighters in Leesburg. What for you might ask? For
lighting luminaries all around town, lighting churches, stores and homes.

Luminaries are bags with candles lit in them around sidewalks. Luminary
Sunday is people selling luminaries to raise money to do away with
preventable blindness.

Luminary Sunday is sponsored by the Lions Club. The Lions Club uses the
money they get from selling luminaries for many good causes. Some of the
things they use the money for are supporting eye hospitals, assisting the
youth, and awarding scholarships.

I think Luminary Sunday is beautiful. The sight of the luminaries reminds me
of the millions of stars in the night. Twinkling, turning, and reaching out
to me in the twilight. Staring at them so long the image burns into my mind.

Luminary Sunday makes me happy. Just the thought of helping men and women
across the globe to me it means giving a little to make a big difference. So
when you see luminaries lit around sidewalks think of all the men and women
it supports.

Leesburg Luminary Night Contest
1st Runner-up Princess
Ciera Zingery

Luminary Sunday

I have always loved going through town on Luminary Sunday. The choir sings,
places in town give away cookies and punch and best of all is the sidewalks
covered with luminaries that light up the night.  It is so beautiful.

Did you know that the Lions Club is the reason that Leesburg celebrates
Luminary Sunday? The Lions Club is a generous organization that helps people
with preventable blindness. The Lions Cub is where the money from the
luminary sales goes. I think it is great what the Lions organization does.
You might not realize it, but when you purchase a luminary, you might have
helped change the life of somebody who is blind.

My brother used to sing in church on Luminary Sunday. He was in the choir.
When I get older, I hope I will get to sing in the choir on Luminary Sunday.

To show how great I thing Luminary Sunday is I wrote a poem:

One Luminary is bright,
But many luminaries light up the night.
When you purchase a luminary you are being kind,
To someone who is blind.
The choir sings so beautifully,
For me and my family.
Places in town give away cookies and punch for free,
To people like you and me.
When this night is over I will be sad,
But when it comes back I’ll be glad.[[In-content Ad]]

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