Getting a glow on for those long, long nights


September 23, 2001|By Julie Klavens | Julie Klavens,Sun Staff

Winter solstice rituals to pray for or celebrate the return of longer days have existed for about 30,000 years, by some estimates -- and the Christmas lights, Hanukah menorahs and Ramadan lanterns familiar to most of us reflect these ancient ceremonies.

But in our science-saturated times, we assume that the days will lengthen, so we've ceased to propitiate the gods who might send us eternal darkness. Time for an additional ritual, one to mark the waning of the light. The autumnal equinox -- the true close of summer, and the day on which daylight and darkness are equally suspended -- just passed; gather with friends after dusk for the last outdoor party of the year, don your sweaters and break out the lights.

1. Identified flying object: The Extreme Glow Throw, about 9 inches in diameter, costs $2 unadorned, or $3 for the disk, six lightsticks (three each green and blue) and the hardware to affix them, at

2. Nice ice: Dress up your drinks with Litecubes, battery-operated cooling cubes that emit light. The suggested retail price is $15.95 for a set of 4; for information or to order, log on to

3. Chill out: The glow collar, a coaster with a kick, sells for $1; for information and to order, log on to

4. Creating a stir: The 5-inch stir stick is a swizzle with a twist -- and doubles as a napkin ring. $23.58 for tube of 50 (green, blue, pink, red or purple -- single colors only) at

5. Illuminating beverages: These acrylic serving trays, 12 inches in diameter, contain a cavity in which to insert two light tubes. $40 for one tray and 50 17-inch-long light tubes (green or blue) at

6. Brighter nights: Glow-in-the dark sheets add intrigue to private parties. Sheet sets featuring the planets range from $24.99 to $39.99, depending on size, at or area Bed Bath & Beyond stores.

7. Squeeze, please: Press the glowing sphere, and this rechargeable, cordless light source casts subtle illumination. Available in red, green or blue for $75 at

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Mary Corey, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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