Presidential couple welcome the Bethlehem Light of Peace

"This Light is a symbol of good, brotherhood and service", said President Andrzej Duda on Monday when he and the first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda received the Bethlehem Light of Peace from scouts at the Presidential Palace.

President Duda emphasised that friendship and service are the most important elements of the scout ethos, adding that the Bethlehem Light of Peace is a symbol of good, warmth and brotherhood.

The First Lady thanked the scouts in the country and abroad for their attitude during the coronavirus pandemic and for doing good to others. She also gave the scouts Christmas wishes.

The slogan of this year's Bethlehem Light of Peace is the "Light of Service".

The Bethlehem Light of Peace was first organised in 1986 in Austria. A year later, Austrian scouts took patronage over the action. Every year a boy or girl receives the Light from the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem. From there it goes to Vienna and is then solemnly handed over to the inhabitants of the city and representatives of scouting organisations from many European countries.

The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (ZHP) has been organising the Bethlehem Light of Peace since 1991. It is a tradition that the ZHP receives the Light from Slovak Scouts and then passes it further east: to Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus, west to Germany, and also north to Sweden.