For a week in June, the Old City’s dark alleyways will be transformed. Art
installations bursting with light, and 3D movies splayed across the city’s
ancient walls and buildings, will sparkle during the third annual Jerusalem
Festival of Light, which will take place from June 15 – 22.
200,000 people visited the light show last summer, crowding the streets in and
out of the Old City until midnight. This year’s festival will feature
installations by artists from around the world, including Portugal, France,
Germany, the US and Holland.
CITYbites: A trip to Armenia
The week-long festival – which is a joint
effort by the Jerusalem Municipality, the Prime Minister’s Office, the
semi-public Ariel Company and the Jerusalem Development Authority – costs NIS 7
million to produce, part of which is covered by sponsors.
festival is a good example of ways to use the beauty of Jerusalem,” said
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
“The artists can mix between emotions and
history to compliment different sites within the Old City,” he
“The festival will awaken tourism inside of Jerusalem and
encourage people to come to places they wouldn’t normally go to, like east
Jerusalem, where there are beautiful places,” said the chairman of the Jerusalem
Development Authority Moshe Leon.
This is the first year that the light
festival will include installations on Rehov Hagay, the main commercial street
leading from Damascus Gate into the Muslim Quarter. Leon said the authority had
the full cooperation of the Arab merchants along the road, who were enthusiastic
about the influx of tourists.
Organizers said that the haredi community,
which has protested every other festival in the Old City this year – including
the Opera Festival, the Chorale Festival and the Festival of Tastes – has not
yet raised any objections to the Festival of Light.
instances, Haredi city councilors objected to the municipality’s sponsorship of
festivals with unkosher food or festivals with performances in
There are, however, still a few weeks for protests to
“If we don’t have conflicts, then it won’t be a festival,” Leon
told The Jerusalem Post.
The event is open to the public free of charge,
except for performances by Circus Y, a group that will perform acrobatics on the
Old City Walls.
More information about the festival, including maps, is
available on the festival’s website in English: