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Lux Helsinki Lights Up the Dark Polar Nights


In January nights in Finland can feel endlessly long as we only have 6 hours of daylight. Luckily we have a tiny bit of white snow in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, too so it is not completely dark. However more light is needed to cheer people up during the darkest time of the year. And we did get some more light into the city as the Lux Helsinki Light Festival started a couple of days ago.helsinki_luxhelsinki_annantalo

During 5 days (6–10 Jan 2016, 5–10 pm) the annual Lux Helsinki Light Festival illuminates Helsinki city centre with luminous artwork by talented artists from around the world. I have visited Lux Helsinki Light Festival each year but this time I was more impressed than ever. Most of the installations were very creative and full of clever ideas.

This year the focus was clearly on customer experience, more than ever before. The artwork were not scattered around in different parts of the city like before, now they formed a clear route to follow in the heart of Helsinki stunningly highlighting the most imposing monuments of the city with all possible colours and patterns. It felt like an exciting and colourful wonderland in the darkness.helsinki_luxhelsinki_ateneum

My favourite light installation was They were here at Tori Quarters. Here you could really feel, see and almost hear the former residents of the oldest quarter of Helsinki live and play around. What a wonderful piece of history from long ago!helsinki_luxhelsinki_toriquarters01helsinki_luxhelsinki_toriquarters02

The playful game of colours projected onto the surface of Helsinki Cathedral at Senate Square was truly what the name of the light installation promised: Images of Joy.helsinki_luxhelsinki_cathedralhelsinki_luxhelsinki_cathedral01

The artwork Megamap at the bell tower of Helsinki Cathedral was an interesting collection of stories that stimulated imagination and opened up senses.helsinki_luxhelsinki_belltower

One of the highlights of the Lux Helsinki Light Festival was the CLOUD sculpture with 6.000 light bulbs. It did put plenty of happy smiles on people’s faces as it allowed people to play by pulling the raindrop-like pull chain switches to turn the bulbs on and off.helsinki_luxhelsinki_cloud

These two signs Nowhere and An’ She Said Yea reflected vibrant city life and broadway musicals, to me at least.helsinki_luxhelsinki_nowherehelsinki_luxhelsinki_yeah

At Esplanade Park I loved how Lampounette, giant desk lamps with their colourful beams of light had escaped from the office to have some fun in the city centre.helsinki_luxhelsinki_lampounette

It was impressive to see how the artists of Medicine City had used tens of thousands of empty aluminium medicine packages to create a compelling cityscape by night.helsinki_luxhelsinki_cityscape

The ambience at Old Church Park was very mystical and the installation clearly respected the history of the place. Here you get to experience two installations: Colour Park and Lantern Park. The Colour Park allows people to play with light by using motion and proximity sensors to change the colour of the work.helsinki_luxhelsinki_oldchurchpark

The atmospheric Lantern Park in turn features 250 lanterns, anything and everything from high heels to Russian matryoshk dolls.helsinki_luxhelsinki_highheelhelsinki_luxhelsinki_russiandollDid you like this blog post? Read more about Helsinki:

Fifty Shades of Autumn in Helsinki

3 Extraordinary Events Not to Miss in Helsinki

5 New Places to Visit in Helsinki

Christmas Twinkle and Festive helsinki City Lights


Author: Piia | Ticket to Adventures

Captivating travel stories from around the world, near and far, by an experienced traveller and adventurer.

17 thoughts on “Lux Helsinki Lights Up the Dark Polar Nights

  1. Pingback: Highlights of Lux Helsinki Light Festival 2017 | Ticket to Adventures

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  3. Pingback: Lux Helsinki Lights Up the Dark Polar Nights — Ticket to Adventures – mitzyonherlaptopfreedom

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  8. Another reminder that I haven’t spent nearly enough time in Helsinki! Three visits and there is still so much to see. I noticed you’re interested in visiting NYC. There are some pretty cheap flights on Tripsta.net HEL-NYC for under $450 euros on Turkish Airlines April-September. No I don’t work for them.. just thought I’d share.


    • Thank you for the tips, Finnair has also had some pretty good deals on direct flights HEL-NYC recently. However, I might take the opportunity to visit Iceland along the way and fly Icelandair via Reykjavik. Great that you have been to Helsinki many times! How did you like it?


  9. Light festivals during winter is such a great idea – lights up the city and brings people out in the streets. Love your photos from this one in Helsinki. What a great job they have done with the festival, it looks awesome!


  10. It looks beautiful! I saw the Amsterdam Light festival over the Christmas holidays which was also wonderful!


  11. Ooh I missed the cloud sculpture – that one looks like fun!


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