Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong’s ‘A Symphony of Lights’ is named the ‘World’s largest Permanent Light and Sound Show’ by Guinness World Records. It is a colourful display of decoration lights, laser beams, searchlights and pyrotechnic fireworks which is synchronised to the orchestra music celebrating the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong.
A Symphony of Lights has 5 main themes known as the Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Partnership and Celebration. The event involves more than 40 buildings on both sides of the Victoria Harbour which takes place every evening at 8 pm Hong Kong Time (UTC+8) lasting for about 13 minutes.
Kobe Luminarie in Japan is a light festival held every December to commemorate the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995. More than 200,000 hand painted lights are lit each year through biomass generation to stay eco-friendly. It is one of the most intricate and beautiful lighting display.
The lights are switched on for a few hours every evening during the festival and major streets around the area are closed to traffic during these hours so that pedestrians can fill the streets to view and enjoy the lights.
The light festival begins from the 4th to the 16th of December and attracts more than 4 million people to Kobe each year. The event honouring the victims of the earthquake has raised around $1.3 million in donations and $6.1 million in sponsorship and merchandise sales.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro’s world’s largest floating Christmas tree is a sight to behold. The 542 ton and 85 metre high structure attracts over thousands of tourist every year. The tree is decorated with over 3 million lights, 2150 strobe effects and 100 LED reflectors which enable the tree to change colour and display different designs.
There is a new theme each year which is represented by the tree’s lights. ‘A Christmas Light’ was the theme for 2014 which celebrated the importance of light in people’s lives, symbolised by the sun, moon and stars.
The tree lighting ceremony, a colourful display of lights and multi-coloured fireworks takes place on the 1st of December and stays switched on until the 6th of January or Three Kings day and is the third largest occasion in the city’s calendar.
Medellin’s amazing Christmas lights is one of the most expensive light displays in the world. With over 497,097 miles of light strips and over 30 million light bulbs, it costs the city millions of dollars each year.
The theme changes every year with the most extravagant Medellin light display being the ornamentation of the Medellin River. Preparation begins one month ahead of December and the concentration of lights along the river is truly a unique sight. The river is filled with a fantastic array of colours and designs all done up with lights.
Besides adorning the rest of the city with beautiful lights, every citizen decorates their homes and gardens with as much festive lights and decorations as possible. Vendors fill the streets with all kinds of food, beverages and sweets alongside street performers entertaining the crowd.
This event traditionally begins on the night of 7th December, but changes sometimes depending on the weather and includes more than 500 different activities and 80 events taking place throughout the month.
The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights transforms Niagara Falls into a winter wonderland with over three million lights that runs along a five kilometre route that travels through the breath-taking landscape of the Niagara parks, Dufferin Islands and surrounding tourist districts.
Besides the huge display of lights, tourists also flock to this festival to witness the magnificent falls illuminated with colourful lights, the shimmering Zimmerman Fountain, the world’s largest illuminated Canadian-American flag and the new three dimensional Canadian Wildlife displays.
The festival attracts over one million tourists every year and begins from the 21st of November to 31st of January to welcome in the New Year.