Significance of Luminaria Ceremony at Relay for Life

Story posted April 10, 2022 in News, CommRadio by Emily McGlynn

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — To end the Relay For Life event, the Luminaria Ceremony takes place. People write on white paper bags and put candles in them. They are lined up and people can read the names written on the bags.

The luminarias honor every life touched by cancer. People dedicate their bags to a loved one lost, someone currently battling or anyone who has beat cancer. After dark, the names are easier to see. If they want to, participants can share their stories and have a moment of silence.

The American Cancer Society describes the significance of this ceremony, “Together, we take a moment of silence to remember the loved ones they’re dedicated to. When you make a donation for a Luminaria it helps fund the American Cancer Society’s mission to help save lives.”

Many people and participants look forward to this part of the Relay For Life walk-a-thon.


Emily McGlynn is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email esm5378@psu.edu.