Over 800 candlelit luminaria were placed in multiple areas throughout Tamaqua as members and volunteers with the Tamaqua Area Faith Fellowship Network (TAFFN) organized Tamaqua's first "A Night of Luminaria" Saturday night. For about 300 years, the Spanish villages along the Rio Grande have been displaying their unique Christmas Lanterns or Luminaria, which symbolically light the way for Joseph, Mary and the Christ Child.
This unique custom, now appears in many parts of the world, to now include Tamaqua. The idea behind the event is not new. "Luminaria Night" has also become a Bethlehem holiday tradition. This year, New Bethany Ministries, the event's sponsor for the 15th year, hopes to distribute 100,000 luminaria to Bethlehem neighborhoods. New Bethany Ministries is an outreach program of the Episcopal Church in Bethlehem.
All proceeds from "A Night of Luminaria" benefited the Tamaqua Family Fuel Fund administered by the Salvation Army, which provides fuel and coal funds for Tamaqua residents when needed.
TAFFN is an organization of lay leaders from Tamaqua congregations formed to promote understanding and cooperation among all groups doing God's work in the community.
Coordinator George Taylor stated his appreciation to all the volunteers, churches, organizations, businesses and residents that helped sponsor or hold the event.