ERIC Number: EJ723834
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Christmas in the "Valley of Praise": Intersections of the Rural Idyll, Heritage and Community in Lobethal, South Australia
Winchester, Hilary P. M.; Rofe, Matthew W.
Journal of Rural Studies, v21 n3 p265-279 Jul 2005
The village of Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills is synonymous with Christmas. Its annual Festival of Lights originated in the 1940s and now attracts over 250,000 visitors each year. In 1994, the Lobethal Lights Festival Committee took over the coordination of activities and gained serious corporate sponsorship. The formalisation of the Festival occurred after the closure of the Onkaparinga Woollen Mills, the village's major employer. Founded in 1842, Lobethal retains a clear sense of its German Lutheran heritage. The Festival builds upon existing traditions and is fuelled by a strong sense of community. Strong religious and rural discourses permeate the Festival. Representations of Christmas predominantly reflect a traditional Christian ethos, exemplified by a live Nativity play performed nightly in the main street. The Festival is considered to be Lobethal's Christmas gift to the wider community and communicates a sense of Christmas festivity enjoyed by visitors of all ages. The Festival of Lights provides a significant local place identity for Lobethal, which is enhanced by the rural spatiality and Germanic heritage of the Valley of Praise.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Holidays, Religion, Folk Culture, Cultural Background, Rural Areas, Cultural Activities
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia