Keep Christmas lights up until February 2, says Thurso activist
Get the Courier and Groat sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
A community activist from Thurso thinks that the town's festive decorations should be left up until 40 days after Christmas Day.
Alexander Glasgow believes that removing the town's decorations and lights is not essential work during the pandemic and keeping them up would "continue to give pleasure" to local people in these hard times.
"Candlemas is the close of the Christmas/Epiphany season which celebrates the Presentation of Jesus Christ at the Temple 40 days after His birth," he said.
"Christmas decorations not removed on the Epiphany can be left up until Candlemas. Councils have said that removal of Christmas decorations is non-essential during current restrictions with responsibility resting on community councils or other local groups."
Mr Glasgow said that "the least the council can do" is to continue supplying electricity for the town's display.
"How much more than general street lighting would that cost?"
He added: "As well as relieving pressure on volunteers, in these seriously rubbish times, any continued decorations will continue to give pleasure."
On Candlemas, many Christians – especially Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, Orthodox and Roman Catholics – bring candles to their local church, where they are blessed. For Christians, these blessed candles serve as a symbol of Jesus Christ, who they call the Light of the World.
"As the Light of the World, He brings joy into it. It's halfway between the longest night and Equinox so it also represents a further move towards sunlight."
Mr Glasgow, who volunteers on a variety of local projects, said he always feels saddened to see the lights and tree removed.
"And this was an excellent tree. I'd like to see this continued in subsequent years. Church groups across the land are suggesting the same for their areas with positive responses."
He did have his reservations about one decoration, however. "Please, no more plastic Santa. That figure is suited for a winter wonderland, not a fine Georgian Square where it looks like a cross between Dostoyevsky and that marshmallow-thing from Ghostbusters."