Once upon a time, there was Dark and there was Light. No one knows why, or where they came from – one minute they were not there, and the next moment they were.
And the Light burnt brightly, as light does, all fire, and laughter and warmth. And the Dark seemed to huddle, a little cold and afraid and lonely.
It could only have been a matter of time before the Dark saw how friendly the Light seemed, the way it danced so merrily, and seemed so welcoming. And it thought, "That looks beautiful – I wonder if it would like to be friends?"
And so it approached timidly, to try to speak with the Light and make friends with it. But the cold of the Dark subdued the warmth and beauty of the Light, until it could barely be seen. And the Dark looked around confused, and wondered where the Light had gone.
Slowly, the Light regained its strength, until suddenly it sprang back into flaring life. Not the friendly light of welcoming candles this time, but the angry painful light of attacking fireballs. It did not know that the Dark had meant to be friends, only that it had almost died.
And the Dark was afraid and fled from it, cowering away once more. It stayed away, until again the loneliness became too much and it approached again to ask for friendship.
The pattern persisted throughout the centuries, even as the human race grew and flourished, and eventually began to follow the Dark and Light.
Being beautiful, the Light could afford to choose only the best followers – the brightest, the kindest, the most virtuous.
Being lonely and desperate, the Dark chose whoever came. And still, it approached the Light to try to make friends.
The followers of Light saw this seeming regular attack upon their leader, and so they became angry, and attacked the followers of the Dark.
And the followers of the Dark were made confused and angry by this attack, and fought back. And because they were not so big, nor so strong as the followers of the Light, they learnt to fight more sneakily so as not to be wiped out.
And the Dark looked confused at the war going on beneath him, and said "But I only wanted to be friends…"
The ritual carried on, and is still repeated today. Every evening, the Dark approaches the Light, trying to apologise for whatever it has done wrong. And every evening, the Light is damped by the cold, and nearly dies away.
Every morning, the Light regains its strength, and flares up in anger. And every morning, the Dark is made afraid by this anger, and runs away in fear.
And far beneath them both, in the world of humans, the war carries on.