Lighting the Y

One of the most popular activities during Homecoming week at Brigham Young University is hiking and lighting the Y. Every year several hundred students gather and hike to the top of Y mountain to participate in this activity.

Lighting the Y has a long tradition at Brigham Young University. The Y was first lit in 1924 and has been lit many times since then for homecoming and commencement activities. The lighting of the Y was originally done by dipping mattress stuffing in oil and placing the resulting balls around the edges of the block Y. These balls were lit and members of the Intercollegiate Knights stood guard to make sure that the mountain didn’t catch fire. The burning mattress balls were replaced by light bulbs in the 1970s.

The Y was lit for the first time in 1924. The lighting of the Y is now an important tradition at Brigham Young University.

The lit Y is a breathtaking site that has many meanings for Brigham Young University students and alumni but the most important is the sense of community and home represented by the Y.

If you would like to learn more about homecoming traditions, the Block Y, or the history of Brigham Young University, please contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or

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