Lights have always been a huge source of fascination for people – whether they are natural lights like the Aurora Borealis in Iceland or the blinding neon lights of Las Vegas.
If you are setting out to travel the world and you want to include spectacular lights displays in your global exploration experience, listed below are six of the world’s best destinations for amazing light shows.
1. Kobe, Japan
A top destination if you love gorgeous light displays is Kobe. It is the home of Japan’s most famous festival of lights called the “Kobe Luminarie.” The festival came into existence because it was the city’s way of rising above the devastation of the Kobe earthquake of 1995, which took thousands of lives.
The Kobe Luminarie is held every year in December for about 12 days, and lighting designers come together to make the city as impressively lit as possible. They make use of everything — from differently-colored individual LED bulbs to LED strip lights and a bunch of other energy-saving lighting options.
Come during the festival and you will delight in all the light-covered structures as well as the variety of new light installations.
2. Northern Territory, Australia
Head to Uluru, which is a sandstone monolith in Australia’s Northern Territory, to see the “Field of Light – Uluru.”
This ruggedly beautiful landscape sacred to the aboriginal folks of Oz has a lighting installation by international artist Bruce Munro consisting of over 50,000 solar-powered lights.
The lights are designed to look like bulb-shaped flowers and they make the area an enchanting place to be at night. This lighting attraction has been around since 2016 and it is available for viewing until 2020.
3. Valencia, Spain
The city of Valencia in Spain, which is known for its architectural wonders, is also the home of the “Las Fallas Festival.” This event draws globetrotters because of its gorgeous lighting display which consists of 75,000 light bulbs in various colors.
To make the lights even more stunning to look at are all the hanging chandeliers and the 40,000 Swarovski crystals that not only reflect light during the day but also create a lovely spectrum of colors.
This festival is held in March, right before the start of spring.
4. Macau, China
The Las Vegas of the East offers tourists an abundance of artistic lights. The city comes alive at night as business establishments turn on the lights of their marquees and tourist attractions sparkle more than the constellations up in the sky.
It is important to mention that Macau also has its own light festival. During the festival, the iconic landmarks of the city deck out with sparkly lights, LED neon flex lights, and light projectors. Like most light festivals, it is also held in December.
5. Chiang Mai, Thailand
This exotic destination hosts the “Yee Peng Lantern Festival,” which sends thousands of paper lanterns up to light the night sky to show respect to Buddha. But this event is not the only reason why Chiang Mai lights up at night the midsummer. Yee Peng, at times, coincides with “Loy Krathong” as well, which is another festival of lights.
With Loy Krathong, on the other hand, people float handmade little water vessels (made of banana leaves and flowers) with a candle on them. They do this to show respect to the water and atone for their sins.
6. Oregon, USA
This state is a wonderland of lights during the winter. It hosts several light festivals such as “Christmas in the Garden”, “Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights”, and the “Christmas Festival of Lights at the Grotto” to name a few.
Different light sources are used to illuminate both public and private places here, and to delight locals and visitors. They feature different kinds of LED lights, Edison filament bulbs, candles in luminaries, and even solar-powered torches.
Experience light magic
There really isn’t anything more magical than the twinkling and glimmering of light — natural or artificial. So it is no wonder all people — young and old — are fascinated by it.
And there you have it, six of the best places to witness wonderful lighting extravaganzas. Each one offers something different but you can be sure to enjoy everything each destination has to offer.
Ajay Awtaney is co-founder of Nakashi General Trading LLC, an electrical lighting company in Dubai catering to the needs of clients and projects requiring quality lighting products and solutions. Nakashi General Trading LLC today is an approved vendor of reputable organisations (Jumeirah, Engineering Office, Meraas, Musanadah and Thumbay, to name a few) for supplying lighting products.