Picture an old mountain village at 2:30am. Usually this image would be dead-quiet streets, dark homes and sleeping old people. But on Saturday night, on our way back from the Big Fat Lebanese Wedding, the scene was quite different.
Thousands of candles were lighting up our village of Daraoun, the village adjacent to Harissa where the church of the Virgin Mary stands, overlooking (some say protecting) Lebanon. The candles, placed in white paper bags and standing on the balconies, flat roofs and walls of the village homes, were in honour of Eid el Saide (the assumption of Mary).
At the village gathering place, about a hundred people were still congregated from the evening's communal dinner, and the vibe still looked like it was cooking. If it hadn't been for the post-wedding feet, we might have joined and I could have gotten some better pics. (We heard from Dad's talkative cousin today that they only left at 4am!)
Village ladies came by the day before to sell candles, and fat neighbour did us the favour of placing them in the white bags filled with sand he'd collected while we were at the wedding. Unfortunately most of ours were burned out by the time we arrived home, but the drive through the village had me smiling in small-town wonder at all the candles still burning around town. And we're not talking one or two candles on each balcony - I'm talking of balconies with about ten candles lining each one's perimeter, and roofs with even more glowing light.
That's one way to solve Lebanon's electricity problem.