David lawrence-Young – Jerusalem Festival of Lights
Every summer for the past eight years, the City of Jerusalem has organized a great splash of lights all around the Old City. They also did the same this year. According to the City’s publicity guys, these lights are some of the world’s “most impressive and exclusive” in terms of such attractions.
It was great fun to walk along the illuminated paths and, again to quote the City, “participate in a unique event that combines the magical atmosphere of the Old City with imaginative and challenging lights.”
It was impossible to get lost as the trail was marked out with blue lights overhead and large orange directional arrows below. The trail took you past the Old City walls, through quaint stone alleys and side-streets all of which lead on to huge splashes of coloured peacocks, lanterns and flowers etc. some still, others moving.
As I looked up at the Old City walls which were used as huge projection screens, I wondered if their builder, Sulemein the Magnificent, had envisaged that one day the defences he had built in 1517 would be used for such a peaceful and joyful purpose. And peaceful they were. It is hard to think that in this city which so often appears in the world’s headlines because of terrorist stabbings and other foul acts, thousands of Israelis and tourists were now following the lights, eating falafel, taking photos and by doing so, actively praying for the peace of Jerusalem in a secure atmosphere.
If you missed this event this or other years, make sure you go next year. As someone who has attended several events like this in the past, I can assure you it will surely be worth it. Advice for photographers: Make sure you set your ISO number up to about 6400 and you are bound to get some great shots.
Minor grumble about this year’s Festival: There was only one route to follow. Although this was very exciting, it meant that there was quite a crush. Last year there were four different routes: red, yellow, green and blue. This meant that people were more spread out. However, despite this, it was all great fun and the good natured atmosphere contributed to a memorable time being had by all. Once again it was certainly a most deLIGHTful experience!