Light Festivals Around The World

By Carmarlena Murdaca

Light Festivals Around The World

The light festival phenomenon has fast been gaining traction. Like Sydney, major cities showcase installations that combine art and smart lighting technology with holographic creatures racing around urban streets and city skylines becoming canvases for eye-popping art. Here are just a few of the radiant displays from around the world.

Vivid, Sydney 

Vivid Sydney, one of the most spectacular light shows in the world, is set to impress once again when it returns to Sydney for 23 nights from Friday 26 May to Saturday 17 June 2017. Transforming Harbour City into an outdoor gallery with its large scale light installations, musical collaborations and creative ideas, discussions and debates, Sydney will once again celebrate the creative hub that astonishes year after year after year.

Festival of Lights, Berlin

Berlin cathedral illuminated colorful during festival of lights.

The Berlin Festival of Lights is an event that occurs annually in October. For ten days, well-known sights such as Brandenburg Gate, Fernsehturm, Berlin Victory Column and Berlin Cathedral are illuminated with scenes of Light art. Many local and international lighting artists use this unique opportunity to project their temporary works of art onto some of the most recognisable buildings in the world, leaving a lasting impression on the spectators.

LUMA Festival, Queenstown

On June 2nd – 5th, Queenstown will be illuminated with art and sculpture for the second LUMA light festival. Over 10,000 locals and visitors from all over the world attended LUMA last year, which transformed Queenstown’s famous gardens and lakefront into a dazzling display of glowing art. Created by give locals who wanted to celebrate the creative community through light, art, technology and design, they founded the LUMA non-profit trust and launch a pilot project of installations at 2015 Winter Festival. Unlike anything Queenstown had seen before, it was the first step towards the southern region’s first ever light festival.

Loi Krathong, Thailand

Loi Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout southwestern Thai cultures. The name, translated as “to float a basket” comes from the tradition of making ‘krathong’ or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. Activities include boat races on the Mae Ping River, Yipeng lantern processions and beauty contests for the community. Taking place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, the exact date of the festival changes every year.

Fête des lumières, Lyon

The Festival of Lights in Lyon, France, expresses gratitude towards religious figures (including Mary, mother of Jesus) around December 8th each year. This uniquely Lyonnaise tradition dictates that every house place candles along the outside of all windows to produce a spectacular effect throughout the streets. The festival includes other activities based on light and usually last four days with the peak of activity occurring in early December. The two main focal points of activity are typically the Basilica of Fourvière, which is lit up in different colours, and the Place des Terreaux which hosts a different light show each year.


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