Photo by Donald Reese

The Ephrata Cloister’s annual Lantern Tours will be held Dec. 27-30. Like Christmas at the Cloister, it often sells out and tickets are required.

Visitors will get the chance to explore certain buildings in the cloister in the evening.

“We are setting it in 1763. Visitors will be newly arrived immigrants who are lost and looking for their cousin, John Miller,” says Michael Showalter, museum educator.

Of course, many John Millers lived in this area back in 1763, so some searching will have to be done.

In the course of the tour, visitors will go to different buildings and learn what life was like there after the sun went down.

“They will go to the Sisters’ House and learn about the wooden pillows. (Yes, people were expected to sleep on pillows made of wood.) And they will learn about the love feast — the fellowship meal,” Showalter says. “And they will learn about the printing office and hear about what work could be done in the evening.”

The tradition of the Lantern Tours is to have a cast of junior and senior high school students play the roles of the guides and cloister residents.

The tours last an hour and depart every half hour.

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