Lantern Night 2017
I love Lantern Night because it combines two of the most important aspects of Bryn Mawr; our tightly knit community and our thirst for knowledge. During the ceremony, each first-year is given their own lantern symbolizing the light of knowledge being passed down.
The lantern is in the student’s class color; dark blue, green, light blue, or red. (My lantern is a lively green and sparkles when the candle inside is lit.) Our lanterns always come with us to college as they are one of our most precious symbols of our attachment to the Mawr. Currently, my lantern is nestled between the books on the mantel above my fireplace.
Sunday at 9 o’clock, runners from the sophomore class placed the glowing ruby lanterns with wrought-iron little owls as the design at the feet of each first-year. Soon after, with the stunning backdrop of the cloisters of College Hall, and the song of the Sophias in Greek “Friends of wisdom, let us gather…” led by the Night Owls, the first years held up their sparkling red lanterns. The cloisters were illuminated.
Lantern Night is a solemn tradition. It is beautiful because of the night sky, the black robes, the Greek songs, and of course, the light of our lanterns. At the closing, the first years picked up their lanterns and silently processed out of the cloisters. Just on the other side of College Hall, we could hear their excited screams and cheers.
I remember holding my lantern my first year, surrounded by the upperclassmen, friends, classmates, alums, warmed by the heat of the lantern and the knowledge I was a part of something so sacred and special in Bryn Mawr’s history. I know that my lantern, and what I have learned at Bryn Mawr, will travel with me for the rest of my life.
Happy Lantern Night Class of 2021!
Outside College Hall the freezing night air was alight with warm red owls and filled with the contagious excitement and joy of the first-years swinging their lanterns.
Quotes from Lantern Night:
“Seeing all the different-colored lanterns made me think of how all these girls have been through Lantern Night too. We’ve all been in the same place, and we’re all welcomed at Bryn Mawr.”
“I love my lantern!”
“My lantern went out…but I got a new one!”
“It was just so pretty to be in the cloisters with everyone there, that was so nice.”
“The singing part!”
“Getting a free lantern!”
“Coming together, feeling you are part of a bigger sisterhood.”