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Jerusalem Sees the Light!

Posted by Iris Hami on Jun 13, 2013, 2:32:57 PM

"The Festival of Light in the Old City will provide, through the use of light, a dramatic and artistic dimension to the Old City’s nights”.

A week or so I posted on Facebook, Twitter and our Blog about the capital’s annual Light Festival, illuminating the walls and byways of the Old City. Now In its fourth year, I had (shamefully) not yet seen it though I had Facebook/Twitter posted about it and even blogged about it. The other day I finally went. I tell you, I was ELECTRIFIED! I had no idea that you could stroll three different routes through the already magnificent Old City, gazing at exhibits large and small, subtle and unpredictable focusing on light, its refraction, reflection, projection and endless creative manipulation. In other words: The Jerusalem Festival of Light is just AMAZING!

“From the illumination of architecture to light statues, the festival will be a public and family orientated celebration that artists from different fields will partake in”

20121220103730Each of three colored routes takes about thirty minutes to walk, unless you are like me and need to see everything and drink it all in. I love to squint my eyes and see the lights filtered as well, but, that’s just me.

My advice is to arrive at dusk (gorgeous!) and prepare to be absolutely dazzled! The crowds tend to grow by 9pm making it somewhat difficult to see and comfortably maneuver. One can’t blame the crowded nature of the event as it is really something special, memorable and in some ways almost emotional.

I loved the “Light Cave” at the end of the green route and “The Spirit Light of the Forest” (a bubble-light piece) just outside Jaffa Gate. The happy lights are perfect as people of all ages giggle and take pictures of each other in weird silhouette form. On Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Road, the blue route’s assortment of ghostly projections, a spider web, a manic organist and all manner of eerie apparitions complete with corresponding soundtracks actually is appropriately “creepy” to the point that one should decide if their younger children would really enjoy it. I personally loved it but were I five years old, not so much!

The white route ends at the Western Wall showing off the massive stones of the ancient walls in all their glory. When one considers what is represented here, the history and sensitive feelings evoked the little hairs on your arms stand and goose-flesh rises. At least it did for me.

“Hello Magazine” describes it as a “Festival that displays the work of leading international artists to whom light it is their creative media”.

Growing larger every year, the festival lasts a week. I have no other to compare it to but understand that in 2012 the show was extended into the Muslim quarter for the first time and will also be located on Rehov Hargay, the commercial street leading into the Old City through Damascus Gate.

This year’s festival is larger than ever and includes ten international artists who will be showcasing the finest work in the field alongside dozens of performances, tours, sites and more.

Lights In Jerusalem runs from June 5-13, 2013. You have until tomorrow if you are local. If not, make your plans for 2014, sure to be bigger, better and even brighter!


Topics: Christian Travel, Culture and Heritage, Enlightenment, Facts about Israel, Fun stuff, group travel