Jerusalem Festival of Light

The Jerusalem Festival of Light was held for a week in June – from June 15 to June 22 in the Old City of Jerusalem. Once again, the festival illuminated the Old City as the the walls and surrounding streets and buildings became a luminous and colorful carnival of light installations and performances.

The festival, which was established in 2009, proudly showcases awe-inspiring light displays conceived by the leading light artists from Israel and abroad.

The Jerusalem Light Festival ran nightly between 8 in the evening and midnight over different routes inside and outside the Old City walls. There were four colored routes one for each of the quarters in the Old City – along the routes there are street performers, different building and streets were illuminated and there are statues and works of art made from light.  There were many invited artists including ten from overseas (such as the TILT group, who hailed from France).

The streets of Jerusalem were packed with visitors – locals and foreign tourists and the sights are absolutely beautiful.

Despite the said schedule, many people came in early as it was fast becoming a big (as in big) attraction! This is the third Jerusalem Festival of Light and in previous years around 250,000 people visited the festival. Apart from the light there were performances and tours and a Lighting Fair in the Cardo.

The 2011 Jerusalem Festival of Light showed the amazing relationship between light and sound and the senses of sight and hearing. It also explored how a visual experience also greatly enhanced the experience of sound and vice-versa.

Most of the events were free, but there was a special concert on June 9th with the Jerusalem  Symphony Orchestra and a special show (twice nightly) – The Butterfly Effect (acrobatics and video art) in the Gan HaBonim (near the Old City Ramparts) which had admission charges.

The Butterfly Effect was a stunning acrobatic performance conducted on the side of the Old City Ramparts (they use the wall as the stage) – the acrobats are amazing and the production is boosted by the video effects and live music. The story is a simple one of a long standing war between the Empire of Light and the Empire of Darkness and  how it is eventually resolved. The story is narrated during the performance but it probably isn’t needed and the show can certainly be enjoyed without the story. Simply one of the best shows we have seen.

Another one of the highlights for this year’s festival was a shining ten-foot tall puppet named “Meir” (which is the Hebrew word for “the illuminator”), which kept visitors entertained with antics such as trying to scale the wall of the moat at the ancient Tower of David.

The Jerusalem Festival of Light, once again, proved to be a spectacular and popular summer event in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Photos can be seen at Jerusalem Light Festival & the Butterfly Effect