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Festivals from around the World: Celebrating Light

Posted by
on November 09, 2015 at 03:46 PM

As we Indians all over the world gear up to celebrate the victory of good over evil with Diwali, the world will join our celebrations - for, indeed, who doesn’t  enjoy light? The magical light that enables us to enjoy the beautiful creation around us, ironically, requires the presence of darkness to be able to appreciate it in all its resplendent glory. Little wonder then that this awe for the play of luminescence against the darkness is shared across different parts of the world. Let’s travel to some well-known celebrations of festivals of light around the world, and also to some famous destinations and monuments which light up in myriad and magical ways, assisted by modern technology!

© Courtesy of internet resources

Festival of Lights, Lyon (pics. 1 - 3)

Known as the oldest modern festival of lights is the one celebrated annually around the 8th of December in Lyons, France, It was started 160 years ago when all citizens placed candles in their windows to make up for a celebration planned to give thanks to Virgin Mary for saving them from the Plague that was spoiled by bad weather, This became a tradition followed every year to be further elevated in 1989 into a public event involving artists to install light installations and sculptures at different locations in the city, it’s foggy weather during December serving to enhance the beauty of the luminescent artworks. The festival in 2014 saw over 175 artists install around 75 works all over the city.

Signal Light Festival, Prague (pics. 4 - 7)

The Signal Light Festival completed its second successful year in 2014 in the Czech capital city of Prague, enhancing its already pristine architectural beauty. It transforms the city into an enveloping art gallery of light installations created by teams of light designers, architects, engineers and hackers. People love the contrast between the classical architecture and the modern technology of lighting around it.

‘The Great Nature’ Light Show, Japan (pics.7 – 9)

Dubbed the Best Light Show in Japan, this light installation show is erected every year in the Nabana no Sato botanical gardens on the Nagashima island. The 2014 display was called “The Great Nature,” which, using over 7 million LED lights allows you to walk through a sunrise at Mt. Fuji, an aurora, and a rainbow. It welcomed visitors through the entry of a light-lit tunnel, where every tiny LED was enclosed into a botanically inspired light bulb. The awe inspired by this show among its visitors is supposed to be incomparable, displaying the Japanese expertise at technology as well as art.

The Jerusalem Light Festival (pics.10 - 13)

The Light Festival of Jerusalem, held every year around the beginning of June, has become internationally acclaimed and joined the ranks of the festivals at Lyon, Berlin, etc. in terms of quality and scale of displays. The 2016 festival will be the 8th year of its celebration and will have displays of several international artists as well as Israeli ones. They are, as is typical to most light festivals in historic cities, installed around the famous historical landmarks and heritage architecture of Jerusalem city,

Light It Up Blue (Pics. 14, 15)

World Autism Awareness Day is observed every year around the world  by lighting up famous buildings and historical monuments in blue light. As part of an initiative by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, and Archaeological Survey of India and is dedicated to raising awareness about autism as a growing public health crisis, several monuments around India too, the capital city of Delhi included, were bathed in blue light on World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). The chosen tool of beautifully combining lighting with heritage architecture proved to be a spectacular way to draw public attention towards a public health issue.

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