IT'S the most emotional day in Llanelli's calendar.
On Monday, around 1,000 people gathered in the St Elli Centre to remember lost loved ones at the Festival of Light.
The event, in aid of Ty Bryngwyn Hospice, attracts hundreds of people each year.
Marlene Spriggs, of Dilwyn Street, Llanelli, was a first- time visitor to the service.
She said people could not help but be moved by the emotional ceremony.
She said: "I thought the ceremony was beautiful.
"The choirs were wonderful.
"It was nice to see the youngsters come and sing, and show their support."
Mrs Spriggs went to the Festival of Light service to remember her brother, Malcolm Roberts who died from a heart attack last year, aged 63.
His sudden death was a shock to the family.
Mrs Spriggs added: "It came out of the blue.
"I was one of four siblings, and to not have that anymore is terrible.
"I always thought the Festival of Light was for people who had died from cancer, but it's not. I lit a light for my brother and now every time I walk through the St Elli Centre, I can look up and think, 'those two lights up there are for Malcolm'.
"I will definitely go next year, and every year after that. It's been beautiful."
The service started with an introduction and prayer from the Rev Jeffrey Morgan before the choirs and congregation joined in song.
Cor Meibion lit up the shopping centre with a moving rendition of You Raise Me Up, bringing tears to many members of the crowd.
Coedcae School choir sang three songs including Home and The Rose.
Suzanne Clee said: "It was touching to see everyone together remembering loved ones at Christmas. I've been going to the service for years, and it's always a beautiful ceremony."
The St Elli Centre lights were switched on by new Scarlets signing Simon Maling.
The New Zealander said he had been honoured to have invited.
Audrey Jenkins, Ty Bryngwyn Hospice Trust fund-raiser, said she was pleased how well the evening had gone, and by the donations which had come flooding in.
She said: "It was wonderful.
"We have raised more than £5,000.
"I don't know how much we raised at the service, but fund-raising went well."
The Festival of Light is the centre of the trust's fund- raising efforts in the run up to Christmas, but donations are welcomed until the end of the year.
Last year was a record- breaker and more than £14,000 was raised for the hospice, £4,000 more than the original target.
Reproduced by kind permission of Llanelli Star