Last night marked my final Lantern Night ceremony as an undergraduate. The second of our four annual traditions, Lantern Night is perhaps our most iconic. During the event, first-years file into the pitch-black Cloisters, sing a couple songs in Greek, and receive their lanterns, their light of knowledge, if you will. My Lantern Night was on Halloween (!), but the following year I participated in the event as a “runner” – sophomores who literally sprint through aisles of first-years to distribute lanterns. This was my first time observing the procession from the roof of the Cloisters. Watching Lantern Night is not unlike a college football marching band – it’s highly synchronized and quite elaborate. While it is our oldest tradition, it’s also one of the harder ones to explain. As I always say on my Admissions tours, no matter how many times I explain it, I can never quite capture the beauty and, for lack of a better term, magic of it all. For me, Lantern Night symbolizes Bryn Mawr’s self-sustaining environment that is governed solely by women, eternally guiding each other towards a common goal of equality and inclusion.
Beautiful Banter Poppit,
You forgot to mention the black robes and the phantasmagorical synchronization of the lanterns swinging. Seriously, this is such a special tradition. The little Red Babies Lanterns were glowing so vividly– I’m proud to be their sister class. Odds til I die!