You are in for a treat is you are visiting Jerusalem in the next few days, as the annual(now it seems) Festival of Lights is taking place. It is my first year to attend this event and it was well worth it. Mind you, parking is crazy and there are tons of people everywhere, but it is still worth making the trip and fun for the whole family. To me, it just seems like such a neat happening for the city to hold and very exciting to see the Old City in a completely different way. Plus supporting art and anything embracing art is good. There are two shows that aren’t included and cost money to see, but otherwise the festival is free. There are also a lot of little things around that you can buy to nibble on and also some lovely lighting fixtures to gaze at, so bring some change! To note: The festival will be closed tonight, Friday 8th, and will resume an hour after Shabbat until midnight. (Good to know!)
“The annual Festival of Light in the Old City of Jerusalem will be taking place between June 6-14, and will be once again adding a stunning and dramatic dimension to the amazing Old City walls and alleyways.If you enjoyed the Old City before, then head on over to this unique Light Festival to see this amazing place in a new light, quite literally!
The action takes place throughout the Old City, but a typically good starting point is Jaffa Gate, where much of the action kicks off. Events will start at 20:00 each night and shut down at 24:00 (Friday June 9th the festival will not be open).
This annual festival brings the world’s best light sculptors to the Old City. As well as some of their amazing works on display throughout the Old City, there is also a special daily opera production of Verdi’s La Traviata, held at Zedekiah’s Cave. In addition, the famous dance troupe Mayumana will also be performing at least two shows daily throughout the festival (there is an entrance fee, call 02-6237000 for details). For more details about the festival, see the official site: lightinjerusalem.org.il.”
“Following the success of last year’s Jerusalem Festival of Light, Jerusalem’s Old City will once again form the magnificent backdrop for lighting installations, exhibits and tours in the Light in Jerusalem 2012 festival, June 6- 14, between the hours of 20:00-24:00. This celebration of light in an urban setting, the initiative of the Jerusalem Development Authority together with the Prime Ministers’ Office, Ministry of Tourism and the Jerusalem Municipality and produced by the Ariel Company, is once again expected to attract over 250,000 visitors to the Old City over the week-long festival.
Special attractions (free admission) include artistic light exhibits designed by leading local and international light artists on display in the Old City; street events and performances; tourist attractions; a lighting fair in the Davidson Centre Archeological Garden and four different trails around the Old City following the illuminated sites and installations. This year, the Light Festival will explore the connection between light and sound and the senses of sight and hearing, as well as the special relation that is created when a visual experience enhances an auditory experience and vice versa.
Featured artists exhibiting at the festival come from, among others, France, Portugal, the USA, Denmark, Belgium and Italy. At the Jaffa Gate, the French TILT group, participating in the festival for the second time, will create a futuristic garden of light in an exhibit that encircles the audience and creates an innovative urban environment using advanced technology. At Zedekiah’s Cave, Bwindi Light Masks by Italian artist Richi Fererro will feature African masks which come to life using light and a soundtrack that combines guttural Mongolic music with the singing of Bulgarian peasants.
The celebratory lighting installed on the Former Municipality Building in honor of the 1937coronation of King George VI will be reconstructed; a video mapping work on Rothschild House will take visitors on a journey by train from city to nature to sky and another installation will create a dialogue with the Jerusalem stone using illuminated objects to create illusions. El Wad Street will be transformed into a festively lit, lively marketplace, from Damascus Gate to the entrance to the Western Wall.”
The festival is open to the public free of charge and appropriate for visitors of all ages. This year’s festival will emphasize the connection between light and sound in two unique shows (there is an entrance fee for the shows). For further information about this festival, visit Lightinjerusalem.org.
TIPS: The tours are lit by their respective colour, with a light rope that directs you through the old city and helps you keep on the path. Just follow this “light rope” and you’ll be okay. Make sure to see all of the Red (my favorite) and Green lines, but you can skip over the Blue*. As the space was really cramped for all the people and this line was only kind of “meh“. (*Personal choice and suggestion.) There are tons of people around and a lot of security, so there is no need to worry about safety issues. They have made it as safe as possible to attend this event at night, so yalla! It is well worth trying to see the Old City lit up with all this light art installations if you can, as it is really something different and cool to witness.