Bethel is one of those small colleges that has so much to offer including some things you would not find out about until you get here. The biggest two traditions of the beginning of winter are during the same week. The Lighting of the Green is a powerful event that always occurs on a Sunday night before Finals week. The college students all come out to our beloved Green and are handed a candle to hold. Once the ceremony starts, singing can be heard from all directions. The first candles are lit and then progress around the circle in different directions. You will be lit by your neighbor and get to light your other neighbor's candle. The whole ceremony is very beautiful and unique and is something everyone must attend at least once! We are usually blessed with nice weather but watch out for the wind!
The other tradition is Bethel's 'Formal' Winter Gala. Gala is a multitude of events all wrapped into one night. This year students got all dressed up and made their way to the Student Center for a candlelit dinner. Professors and other important people are the servers and it is a very intimate occasion. Many people love Gala because it is one of the few times to really get dressed up and find a date. (My friends and I boycotted boys and all went together though!) After dinner there is a Jazz Concert that includes both Jazz I and Jazz 2. It was a packed house this year and rightfully so!! Later there are horse drawn carriage rides and cookies/refreshments offered at the President's house. (This is a perfect night to go see how beautiful Goerz house is!) Then finally there is a dance. If you are astounded...don't be. Bethel College has so many traditions because of being a small college. We really are a family and we enjoy being with each other and celebrating the holidays as much as possible!