Jerusalem Light Festival- 2014

Ever since I started this blog, over two years ago, there have been two things I always post about, along with photos- snow storms, which happen very rarely in Israel, and the Jerusalem Light Festival.

Jerusalem is now bracing for another snow storm, which may come this Wednesday (Jan 7th). Last year’s storm was the heaviest snow seen in Israel since the 1920s- with over half a meter of snow, which left a thin layer of black ice on the streets of Jerusalem for over two weeks after the storm. The memory of last year’s snow is likely to send Jerusalemites to empty out supermarket shelves, in a frenzy to be prepared for whatever may come.

Readers from countries that see a lot of snow- feel free to roll your eyes at us and laugh about those silly Jerusalemites who get all excited about a few centimeters of snow, but keep in mind that no one in Israel has snow tires or any gear for dealing with snow. The one snow storm in 2-3 years, that hits only mountainous areas and usually melts after 2-3 hours, means that we are unprepared for real snow, and when that does come, life comes to a grinding halt.

But enough about snow. If we do have anything to tell about, you’ll hear about it in a separate post. This post is about the Light Festival. It happens every year, in the Old City of Jerusalem, in June.

This June, the festival took place as usual, but a few days later, war broke out, and I was called up for two months of reserve duty in the IDF, along with over 80,000 other Israelis. And of course, with everything going on, nobody cared about the Light Festival, hence no blog post about it. Until now!

The festival takes place every June, for a week, during which artistic installations of light are displayed throughout the Old City of Jerusalem. The event is completely free, and people flock from all over the country to see it. The installations are set up along four different routes, which run through different sections of the Old City, bringing Jews and Arabs into each other’s Quarters of the city, something that doesn’t often happen regularly.

So after that introduction, sit back and enjoy the photos and videos (the videos are in links to my FB page). All photos and videos were taken by me.

Jaffa Gate

Jaffa Gate

Jaffa Gate

Jaffa Gate

The Christian information center, near the Jaffa Gate.  You can watch its transformation in this link.

The Christian information center, near the Jaffa Gate.
You can watch its transformation in this link (51 seconds).

A tree, made entirely of light bulbs, Christian Quarter.

A tree, made entirely of light bulbs. Viewers can switch them on  and off. Christian Quarter.

Next to the Hurva Synagogue, Jewish Quarter.

Next to the Hurva Synagogue, Jewish Quarter.

In the center of the Jewish Quarter, a section of the First Temple Period (1000-596 BCE) City Wall becomes a flowing river! (Link, 11 seconds).

Elephants walk the wall of the Old City, near the Zion Gate, Armenian Quarter.

Elephants walk the wall of the Old City, near the Zion Gate, Armenian Quarter.

Next to the elephants, every year, this section of the wall does something interesting (link, 01:20).

Outside the Zion Gate, pieces of trash come together to make a silhouette of Jerusalem!

Outside the Zion Gate, pieces of trash come together to make a silhouette of Jerusalem!

Dancers outside the New Gate, Christian Quarter

Dancers outside the New Gate, Christian Quarter

The Light Show on the Damascus Gate in the Muslim Quarter is always one of the best parts of the Light Festival.

The Light Show on the Damascus Gate in the Muslim Quarter is always one of the best parts of the Light Festival.

Damascus Gate, Muslim Quarter.

Damascus Gate, Muslim Quarter.

Damascus Gate, Muslim Quarter.

Damascus Gate, Muslim Quarter.

Watch the complete show on Damascus Gate in this Link (06:19).

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Also, don’t forget to check out my posts on the upcoming Israeli Elections. I try to make them simple and easy to follow, even if you’re not fluent in Israeli politics. I’ve written three posts in the series so far:
Israeli elections 2015- the guide for dummies

Election update – Dec 20th 2014

Election update- January 1st 2015

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