Into the ABC Wednesday fray I go with my first post for Round 21’s letter N with a short list of new(er) wondrous festivals of lights celebrated around the world. (and continuing my UBC journey)
The Indian festival of lights, Diwali or Deepavali (literally meaning row of lights) is right around the corner and as Indians around the world gear up to celebrate this sparkling with lights, color, love, and joy festival, I discovered other new(er) festivals of lights that are celebrated around the world.
Cultures around the world have been celebrating various forms of festivals of lights since forever now and it seems to be around winter (October through February) when many of these have been celebrated – to show that light conquers darkness!! And in that celebration is captured a spirit of community, of peace, of traditions, and togetherness. So it is heartening to know of new traditions and new festivals originating to celebrate the same.
So here are a few other festivals of light that have originated in the recent past (couple of decades at the most) that you can check out:
The Festival of Lights in Berlin: This amazingly beautiful festival (now added to my ever growing to-see-list – just like my mountainous TBR of books!) began in 2005 and has grown since then. This year’s festivities are currently on with the festival ending on the 15th of October and if you want to be beamed up into the sky – Berlin is where you need to be now!! Berlin is sure to be crowded right about now – the festival had 2.2 million visitors in 2015.
You can find amazing photos of the festival here.
|The Berlin TV Tower – Festival of Lights 2009
By Michael F. Mehnert (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Kobe Luminarie, Japan: Started in December 1995 to commemorate the Great Hanshin earthquake, this annual festival has since served as a symbol of hope each year and lights up to brighten hearts, all while being green too (lights use biomass to stay lit!). 2016 saw over 3 million visitors to the festival.
|CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
And if you need proof of the connection between winter and festivals of lights, here is one in the southern hemisphere, Vivid Sydney, that is celebrated in May/June every year!! This festival began in 2009 as a Smart Light festival and attracted over 2.3 million visitors this year.
|The Sydney skyline during Vivid Sydney 2015By Robert Montgomery [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|