A light that shines in the darkness to protect and alert. Sounds like something one would say about that friend or mentor whom helps us in the hardest of times, but alas, this is not that reference. This is a reference to the silent, but bright, guardians of our coastlines and ships, the majestic lighthouse.
Learn about National Lighthouse Day
Lighthouses represent a piece of history. They have comforted travelers for centuries, guiding them and keeping them safe. They also add to some of the most scenic and majestic views. If you have ever visited a lighthouse before, you will know the stability and serenity they bring to the area. While time has progressed and technology has changed, lighthouses remind us of some of the difficult voyages people went on in the past. They provided hope to those looking for land while tackling the dark nights and stormy seas. So, it is only right that we celebrate them on National Lighthouse Day.
Did you know that lighthouses provided a beacon of light even before we had electricity? It is remarkable to think that, isn’t it? Originally, fires or burning coal were used to create the source of light in a lighthouse. Of course, this changed as time went on. Lighthouses then made the switch to oil-burning lamps, after which electric lamps were used in 1875. Nevertheless, it is crazy to think that these structures were guiding ships home with light before we could power our own homes!
There are many reasons why National Lighthouse Day should be celebrated in our opinion. However, one thing that is really admirable is that lighthouses have stood the test of time. They have had to weather a lot of storms; both the literal type and the metaphorical. From high winds to extreme weather conditions; lighthouses are located in areas on cliffs and coasts that mean they need to take the very worst of the weather. Not only this but despite the fact that technology has progressed and the need for a lighthouse is not the same as it once was, these structures still stand tall, often acting as the focal point for coastal villages and areas.
Plus, you simply cannot deny the beauty of a lighthouse, can you? They have a cylindrical shape and an eye-catching red and white striped design in most cases, although some are painted all white. They look beautiful amongst the surrounding bay or coastal area, adding plenty of character and tales of the past to the location. When you consider this, it is of no surprise that so many people decide to have their photograph taken in front of a lighthouse. It’s a postcard-perfect environment. Why not spend some time looking at some of the most picturesque lighthouses online? You will be amazed by the beauty you witness!
History of National Lighthouse Day
The lighthouse has been a staple of culture in the world since we built boats to sail the seas. Protection from fog, reefs, rocks and other hazards of the coastline have been signaled by these monoliths of light, even before the advent of electricity. Surprisingly, large fires were lit in the top of the early lighthouses, so ship captains knew not to sail to close to them in order to avoid dangers to their ships.
Some even used early forms of light refraction to make the light spread farther out to see – mirrors were used in some cases, but in many, it was actually metal polished to a shine that was used as mirrors were not as easily come by as they are today.
Electricity and the light bulb paved the way for current lighthouses – the rotating beam of light that is done with some creative positioning of mirrors, glass and a motor to spin a curved mirror in a circle around the light bulb. This effect channels the light outwards in a beam, rotating around and around to catch the eye, and help the light pierce the fog.
How to celebrate National Lighthouse Day
Go and see a lighthouse or two. Visit and see about understanding what the lighthouse specifically protected against – was it just fog and to alert captains of land close by, or are there rocks in shallow water, reefs of danger just beneath the soft waves, or maybe a more disastrous effect, like whirlpools or cliff edges instead of a port?
Sometimes a lighthouse existed both as a ship warning and a guard post from when local militia and army forces were stationed to defend against coastal attackers. Or if your not near any lighthouses, share pictures you find enjoyable of lighthouses to those nearby or over social media.
Enlighten them on what a lighthouse does if they want to know. Or maybe build a miniature lighthouse all your own, setting it up high in a room so the light spirals around in the same effect. This little adventure into modeling can spark conversations for years to come, and is something that may just bring you one step closer to being the master of a lighthouse yourself some day.
Another way that you can celebrate National Lighthouse Day is by doing your bit to preserve a lighthouse. There are a number of organizations that have been set up around the world for the purpose of protecting and preserving these historical structures. Plus, if you do decide to visit a lighthouse on this day, you will probably be able to make a small donation that will contribute to keeping the lighthouse in operation. A small donation can go a very long way when it comes to the future of historic treasures like this.