For three centuries, 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, including Tamaqua starting this holiday season.

The Tamaqua Area Faith Fellowship Network is sponsoring "A Night of Luminaria," Saturday, Dec. 8.

Individual luminaria kits may be purchased and the luminaria displayed around homes, churches or businesses. Luminaria sponsorships are also available. Sponsored luminaria will be placed in Depot Square Park in downtown Tamaqua.

Kits containing five luminaria are available for $5. A $5 sponsorship places five luminaria at Depot Square Park. Kits and sponsorships are available from TAFFN representatives, most church offices and at the Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce at 114 West Broad Street in Tamaqua.

Each kit comes with instructions and a history of luminaria.

The idea behind the event is not new. "Luminaria Night" has become a Bethlehem, Pa., 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. Proceeds raised help fund its various ministries.

All proceeds from "A Night of Luminaria" benefit the Tamaqua Family Fuel Fund administered by the Salvation Army, which provides fuel oil 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.

Kits and sponsorships are available from all TAFFN representatives, most area church offices and the Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce office at 114 West Broad Street, Tamaqua.

For additional information, contact Gary Price at (570) 668- 2775.