Arts and Culture

Top Light Shows Around the World

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Light festivals are held around the world to celebrate culture, art and heritage, bringing together locals and visitors alike. From the medieval architecture of York to the bright lights of Sydney Harbour, mesmerising light displays are breathing new life into some of the world’s most iconic landmarks.

Check out some of the top light shows around the world and start planning your next adventure!

Vivid Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Vivid Sydney is a festival of light, music and ideas with a huge annual programme of events held during May and June. Showcasing the talents of some of the most creative minds in the world, Sydney’s iconic landmarks fill with colour, international music acts take to the stage and debates and talks are held to celebrate innovation, creativity and community.

Sydney Opera House during Vivid Sydney
Sydney Opera House during Vivid Sydney. Image Credit: Jason Tong / CC by 2.0.

Diwali, Various Locations, India

Diwali is India’s most important Hindu festival celebrating the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Held in autumn between October and November, the festival is based around the lunar calendar. On the night of Diwali, people dress up, light lamps and candles in their homes and outside, and spend time praying. After this, fireworks fill the sky, families feast on sweets and gifts are exchanged.

Women lighting candles during Diwali
Women lighting candles during Diwali. Image Credit: Khokarahman / CC by SA 4.0.

Amsterdam Light Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Held throughout December and January, the Amsterdam Light Festival is an annual light art festival showcasing beautiful installations and light sculptures. The festival brings together artists, architects and light designers from around the world to create stunning pieces that light up the city streets. There are two exhibition routes to follow around the city – Water Colors, (the boat route) and Illuminade (the walking route).

An installation at the Amsterdam Light Festival
An installation at the Amsterdam Light Festival. Image Credit: UrbanUrban_ru / CC by SA 2.0.

Fête des Lumières, Lyon, France

Held in the beautiful French city of Lyon, the Fete des Lumieres is a light festival like no other. The festival was created as a celebration of the Virgin Mary and held around December 8 to coincide with the Immaculate Conception. There are over 80 light shows around the city, alongside a programme of lighting and video effects, visual arts and creative audio displays from a host of talented artists and architects.

Place des Jacobins during Fête des Lumières
Place des Jacobins during Fête des Lumières. Image Credit: Jillibi / CC by SA 3.0.

Illuminating York, York, England

The Midlands city of York is a historic place famed for the War of the Roses. The medieval architecture of the city provides the perfect backdrop for awe-inspiring light shows and installations. Now a biennial event, Illuminating York showcases work from international artists, engineers and designers.

York Minster during Illuminating York
York Minster during Illuminating York. Image Credit: York Minster / CC by SA 2.0.

Berlin Festival of Lights, Berlin, Germany

The Berlin Festival of Lights has been wowing travellers and locals alike for 12 years. Each October, Berlin’s famous landmarks come to life as they are draped with intricate light projections and futuristic light sculptures are dotted around the city. International artists create 3D mappings and light installations, turning the city into one big free exhibition. The festival’s extensive programme of events also includes art shows, tours and music events.

Brandenburg Gate during the Berlin Festival of Lights
Brandenburg Gate during the Berlin Festival of Lights. Image Credit: Michael F. Mehnert / CC by SA 3.0.

Ready to surround yourself with spectacular light displays? Find cheap flights to destinations across the globe with Webjet!

Feature Image Credit: Dhinal Chheda / CC by 2.0.

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