8 Amazing Light Festivals Around the World

As Singapore’s iLight Marina Bay continues to grow and light up across an extended festival ground this year, there are plenty of illuminating festivals around the world that seek to enthrall you for the rest of the year.

From amazing light installations to cultural celebrations and festivals,, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay has put together a list of 8 light festivals around the world you’ll want to check out! 


LUX Light Festival, Wellington New Zealand (May 18 - May 27, 2018)

Wellington’s waterfront and city will transform the dark days of winter into a captivating celebration of light, design and technology. LUX is New Zealand’s largest light festival and will illuminate its laneways with an amazing array of light sculptures, alongside plenty of activities and performances. QT Museum Wellington Apartments is just a 9-minute walk from the beach and offers stunning views of Wellington’s harbor. 

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri, Aomori, Japan (August 2 – August 7, 2018)

Head to Aomori City for the biggest Nebuta Summer Festival (Matsuri) in early August, where you’ll get to view enormous illuminated floats, constructed out of bamboo, wood and paper, illustrated with pictures of samurai, gods, historical characters and even popular kabuki actors. On the last night, the floats are placed in boats on Aomori Bay, as fireworks light up the night sky. A much celebrated festival, it welcomes over 3 million visitors each year, so be sure to book your accommodation ahead of time! If you’re lucky, grab a stay at ryokan, Kaisenkaku, which is a quick walk from the beach. 

LUMINA Light Festival, Cascais, Portugal (September, 2018)

Taking place in Lisbon’s coastal resort town, Cascais, LUMINA Light Festival brings international and local artists together for an interactive journey of light installations and multimedia projections that will make the harbor and old town glow. In its seventh edition, LUMINA usually takes place for 3 days in September. After a night out, relax at Villa Cascais Guesthouse, which is located right by the marina in the old town.

Festival of Lights, Berlin, Germany (October 5 – October 14, 2018)

Going for a decade now, Berlin’s most famous landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Cathedral will be bathed in colour once the sun sets during the ten days of the city’s Festival of Lights. Besides spectacular light and multimedia projections, the festival features guided tours, music events and workshops. Check-in to Hotel Berlin, in the Mitte district of Berlin, which offers quick links to the rest of the city. 

Yee Peng Floating Lantern Festival, Chiang Mai, Thailand (November 2018)

No fancy projection-mapping here. Just the plain magic of thousands of paper lanterns being released into the air, which takes place just before Thailand’s Loi Krathong festival. During Yee Peng, public places and local homes will be decked out in colorful lanterns and decorations. You can also light and release your own lantern, which signifies letting go of all troubles and misfortunes of the previous year. Stay at i-river chiangmai and while the hours away in the garden or the outdoor swimming pool. 

Amsterdam Light Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands (End November, 2018– January 2019)

To brighten up the dark days of winter, Amsterdam will be awash with the glow from beautiful light sculptures, art installations and art projections. From the end of November to the new year, you’ll get to view these installations and artwork in various parts of the city, including its famous canals. Located right by the Herengracht canal is The Hoxton, Amsterdam, which is made up of 5 canal houses. 

Fête des Lumières, Lyon, France (early December, 2018)

What started as a Catholic homage to the Virgin Mary, leaving lit candles in all of their windows, has now expanded across the city with light installations, fireworks displays and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière anchoring it with a huge light show. Celebrated over 4 nights, in early December, you’ll be able to have views of the city from your stay at Fourvière Hôtel.

Kobe Luminarie, Kobe, Japan (early to mid-December 2018)

Also held from early December, the Kobe Luminarie has been held annually since 1995 to commemorate the Great Hanshin eqarthquake. Drawing millions of visitors each year, the Luminarie features over eight million LED lights and turns Higashi Yuenchi Park into a veritable winter wonderland. Located just a 4-minute walk away from the park is the luxurious Oriental Hotel.