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Travel the World with 8 Must-See Light Festivals

Posted on:December 18, 2017 4:42 pm CST

From 1880 to 1917, the use of electric light strands evolved from a highly mistrusted idea into a Christmas novelty. After taking years to grow in popularity, nobody would predict the elaborate displays of lights and extravagant decorations we see today. From meticulously hanging lights at the Charlotte Motor Speedway to cutting the first slice of Striezel in Dresden, Germany, professionals around the globe work behind the scenes to make these iconic events possible. Celebrating the unity behind holiday traditions, we’ve highlighted some of the most popular events and intricate illuminations happening around the world this year.

  1. Canberra, Australia
    Glebe Park’s Festive Forest
    Although the world-record-setting, artificial Christmas tree won’t be on display this year, 65 real trees will take its place, transforming Glebe Park into a “Festive Forest.” Roughly 5,000 people admired the forest on its opening weekend with decorations including overhead canopy lights and various entertaining displays.
  2. Gramado, Brasil
    Natal Luz or “Christmas Light”
    It’s October, spring is in full bloom and Santa Claus is coming to town … for 81 days. By mid-January, around 2.5 million people will visit this Christmas wonderland to enjoy the nightly lighting ceremonies, parades and Christmas productions. What’s behind all of this festivity? Over 600 hard-working individuals and one dedicated Santa.
  3. Dresden, Germany
    Dresden Striezelmarkt
    Visit Germany’s oldest continuously running Christmas Market to celebrate its traditions that date back to 1434. To kick-off the market, visitors gather for the ceremonial first slice from the almost four-ton “Striezel,” commonly known as stollen, or Christmas bread. Decorations include the largest Erzgebirge step pyramid, and one-of-a-kind crafted goods and delicious treats are available to purchase. All of this and so much more makes the Striezelmarkt a Christmas must-see.
  4. Galway, Ireland
    Light up Galway City
    Traveling through the city on a magical train, Santa visited on November 17 to officially “Light up Galway City.” While this one night event welcomed thousands to kick-off the holiday season, the lights in Galway shine through the end of the year. Additionally, visitors enjoy the traditional Christmas market, which has over 50 vendors and many more attractions.
  5. Gapyeong County, South Korea
    Lighting Festival at the Garden of Morning Calm
    The garden is a place to find natural beauty and calm serenity all year-round, but covered in snow, the gardens offer a different kind of wonderland. Decorated with colorful illuminations and up to 30,000 different lights, the Garden of Morning Calm welcomes you to the biggest festival of lights in Korea.
  6. Monterrey, Mexico
    Luztopia
    Over 200 giant figures come to life in one of the largest light festivals of Latin America. Spreading holiday cheer along three kilometers, the illuminated structures are made up of more than 15,500 lights and are expected to entertain up to 1 million people between December 1 and January 6.
  7. Norwich, United Kingdom
    Tunnel of Light
    At the center of Norwich’s Christmas experience is the U.K.’s first Tunnel of Light. Growing bigger
    and better, a glittering tiara was added to the 45-meter long, twinkling tunnel, which is made of over 50,000 LEDs. Celebrating only its second year, the elaborate reflections of various colors and patterns promise to be “the belle of the ball” once again.
  8. Texas, United States
    Magical Winter Lights
    Everything is bigger in Texas, including holiday celebrations. With two locations found in Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Magical Winter Lights is the largest lantern festival and holiday celebration in the nation. Themes range from Magical Wonderland and Christmas Candy Land to Dinosaur Land, but each section guarantees Texas-style, larger-than-life illuminations.

These are just some of the extraordinary holiday events taking place this year, and each one couldn’t be a success without the tradespeople on the job. We know that there are so many more ways to celebrate and be thankful for this season, so share some of your favorite traditions with us on social media!

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