11 hermosos festivales de luz alrededor del mundo

Light holds significance in the whole world of cultures. Over the centuries, lights have become an important part of religious and traditional practices.

Throughout the year, we mention some of the most famous and beautiful light festivals on different holidays. And they continue to delight people of all ages and nationalities, the light festivals are celebrated as tourist attractions in many cities around the world, nowadays.

1. Dev Diwali, India

Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated every year in Varanasi, a sacred city located on the Ganges river in the northern part of India. It should not be confused with Tripurotsav and Deepawali Dev, also known as Diwali Dev.

Many Indians believe that on this sacred day, known as Purnima Kartik, all the gods descend over the city to bathe in the river. It is held on the day of the full moon and occurs 15 days after Diwali. Diwali Dev is a celebration of Lord Shiva’s victory over the demon Tripurasur.

During Diwali, an annual tradition known as Deepdaan, people light diyas (lamps) and offer flowers as the sun sets. They pray to the Hindu goddess Ganga on the shores of the Ganges. Tourists and pilgrims from all over the world arrive in dozens on the shores of the Ganges during Diwali to worship Dev Ganga.

The city is beautified as if stars had fallen to the ground, describing this spectacular celebration. The whole city is illuminated with bright lights and colorful colors, during this festive day.

hermosos festivales de luz alrededor del mundo

Macao, an autonomous administrative region of China, becomes illuminated during the month of December. The event is not directly linked to this holiday, although it coincides with the Christmas season.

Explore the area to motivate winter holidaymakers and the occasion is a component of the observance of the Day of the Establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SARE), a festivity commemorating when China assumed command of the area. The tourism industry plays a crucial role in Macao’s economy.

Throughout the event, the city hosts interactive games and live performances. Additionally, with its state-of-the-art lighting facilities and corresponding screen projections, the Macao Light Festival introduces a fresh theme every year. It takes place on the Macao peninsula and its surrounding islands.

3. Fête des Lumières, Lyon, France

The celebration has come to symbolize the city’s rich religious history. However, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which pays tribute to the person and life of Jesus’ mother Mary, originally began as part of the observance of the Feast of Lights in Lyon, France.

Instead of delaying it, the city opted for the second option to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which involved constructing a golden sculpture of Mary as the guardian of the city. In 1852, amidst a challenging period in France characterized by societal tensions, foreign invasion, and calamities, the city resolved to raise a gilded statue of Mary as a symbol of protection for the city.

In France, Christmas holidays begin for many and mark the start of the city’s Festival of Lights on December 8th, even so, until today.

The residents of Lyon celebrate Lumières des Fête by installing infinite lights in projection screens, including public places, and placing candles on their windowsills.

Every night, including theater shows, music, and dance, the event encompasses celebrations across the city and lasts for four days.

4. Vivid Sydney, Australia

The annual Sydney Vivid festival, which takes place in Sydney, Australia over a period of 23 days, has become an innovative spectacle in the world of art lighting. The event was first realized as an ecological LED lighting exhibition, sponsored by companies who wanted to showcase their products.

In many neighborhoods, the dazzling light displays and 3D projections are a sight to behold, and famous places like the Sydney Opera House are adorned for the occasion. Vivid Sydney usually runs from late May to mid-June.

Concerts and dance parties take place throughout the entire city, and starting from 2023, a gastronomic festival with chefs from around the world will also be included in the festivities.

5. Laguna Rodrigo de Freitas, Río de Janeiro, Brasil

The government of Río de Janeiro organizes an annual celebration to mark the world’s largest floating tree lighting. This event is not just a unique moment, but it is also associated with the majority of people in the city, who celebrate it with a great carnival.

The city provides live musical shows and a fireworks show to amuse the large audiences after illuminating the tree, which made its first appearance in 2014. The tree, standing at a height of 278 feet, was adorned with 3 million lights and needed five generators placed on barges to supply power.

The celebration of Laguna de Freitas, which is one of the most anticipated events in Brazil during Christmas, becomes popular for both tourists and locals.

6. Festival de los Faroles de Pingxi, Taipei, Taiwan

When the sun sets, thousands of lanterns are released into the sky every day during the festival. It is now a national tradition and started as a regional event during the 1990s. Discovery Channel calls it “the second largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the world,” the festival that lasts for three days and starts on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, in the city of New Taipei, the Pingxi Lantern Festival.

Participants write a wish on the exterior before lighting and releasing their lanterns. For those who want to release them, the event sponsors provide free lanterns at three locations in the city where the celebration takes place.

The grand main lantern release on the last day of the festival takes place at Shifen Lantern Plaza. Creative lanterns in a variety of shapes and sizes are usually present at the first two release locations, Jingtong Elementary School and Pingxi High School.

7. Festival de Luces de Magnificent Mile, Chicago, EE.UU.

The annual festival of Magnificent Mile lights is held on the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving Day in Chicago, the third largest city in the US. It marks the beginning of the holiday season with the highest number of residents in the country.

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival attracts large crowds, which is the largest nighttime parade in the United States. Over a million people line up on Michigan Avenue to watch the parade’s music bands, enormous helium balloons, and festive floats pass by.

Adorned with over 200 trees and more than a million lights, the festivities culminate with a spectacular fireworks display.

The Grand Mile Lights Festival traces its origins to half a century ago, when traders from the Greater North Michigan Avenue devoted resources to embellish the trees in the business district. In 1992, Disney joined the festivities and numerous characters from Disney make appearances in the procession.

8. Festival de las Luces de Berlín, Alemania

During the autumn months, the event, the Festival of Lights in Berlin, Germany, takes place, and it has no religious ties. Innovation and diversity are celebrated to bring together Germans from all over the country and tourists from around the world. The event premiered in 2005.

Every year, in the city of Berlin, a unique theme is presented for the festival and an international call is launched for artists to submit illuminated works. In public areas of the city, the best ones are chosen and erected.

Berlin hosts various cultural and musical performances in outdoor venues and open-air theaters, showcasing famous landmarks like the Berliner Dom, the Brandenburg Gate, and the church towers of Nikolaikirche, which are beautifully illuminated.

9. Alumbrados EPM, Medellín, Colombia

The city’s convention center now houses Plaza Mayor, where the annual Alumbrados EPM festival began in Medellín, Colombia, as a mere Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

It began showcasing increasingly complex light displays, took charge of the celebration, and in 1955, became the largest public utility company in the country, Empresas Públicas de Medellín.

Within the city, the event spans over 100 locations. For children and families, the festival encompasses special activities, dance shows, and musical concerts, in addition to stunning light displays.

On the 6th of January, it ends at some point after the Day of the Three Wise Men, continues until early January, and the event usually starts with a grand celebration in early December, but the dates vary every year.

hermosos festivales de luz alrededor del mundo

10. Festival i Light Marina Bay, Singapur

In the summer, the Festival i Light Marina Bay in Singapore, similar to Vivid Sydney, commenced in 2010 with the intention of showcasing the possibilities of energy-efficient lighting. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore is responsible for organizing this yearly celebration, which typically spans over a duration of three weeks or longer.

Light displays are featured annually at the event. Artworks by artists from Singapore and various other countries are showcased, and each display incorporates exclusively eco-friendly lighting technology.

The Marina Bay i Light Festival presents a variety of live performances and a gastronomic festival, along with light displays. The public can view all the installations for free, but some concerts and rides have an admission fee, which varies depending on the event.

11. Festival de la Luz de Jerusalén, Israel

The Festival of Light in Jerusalem will be held in this historic city for the twelfth time in 2023, following a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event in the Old City of Jerusalem is sponsored and organized by the Jerusalem Municipality and the City Development Authority. It spans the entire month of June and entails a remarkable revitalization of iconic locations.

The city installs illuminated projects by Israeli and international artists, which not only decorate public spaces but also contribute to the artistic ambiance. The festival typically features captivating light and sound performances, a public market showcasing illuminated artworks, and various exhibitions.