Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas Light Night 2014 or Church and State, No Separation

Friday the 14th of November, 2014  marked the annual Christmas Light Night in Dundee. 

Waiting for the lights to be switched on
This is the night on which the Christmas tree in the city centre is switched on, and the Christmas season officially begins (at least from the point of view of stores and shoppers, if not the church).

If you are reading this in the US, you may be saying, hold on a minute here - the city government puts up a Christmas tree in the centre of town? And throws a party, complete with a torchlight parade, music, dancing, an appearance by Santa, fireworks (set to "Let it Go" much to the delight of the girls) but ALSO the aforementioned Christmas tree, lighted decorations with Christmas themes, and a Nativity play? What happened to separation of Church and State?

Reform Street greetings
The answer, as far as I can tell in Scotland, is "it doesn't really exist."  The common perception is"Well, everyone is Christian anyway, so it doesn't matter."  According to the 2011 census in Scotland, 54% of people say they are Christian, while 37% claim "no religion."  Muslims are 1.4% of the population, and all others (Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, or Another Religion) are .9% of the population.  Audrey goes to a Catholic school which is part of the state-supported school system - she went because there were places there, not so much because we wanted her to be in Catholic school, but it is tuition-free - again, a big no-no in the States, and a big so-what in Scotland.

So, Christmas Light Night 2014. 
The Christmas Tree, lit up

The City Centre gets a teacup ride for the occasion

...and really large Disney balloons...

Preparing to go out, with our Santa hats
Bonus: One-minute video of the Light Night event during which the band plays a cover of A-Ha's "Take On Me" on the bagpipes. Seriously Awesome.

1 comment:

Karen Cordano said...

Oh my lord, that is amazing!