Introduction

In the dead of winter, when nightfall descends earlier and earlier in the day, people all over the world celebrate festivals of light to ward off the gloominess of darkness and bring in the hope of light: Christmas, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Lunar New Year, Santa Lucia Day, Zoroastrian Solstice Celebration and, of course, our very own – Chanukkah!

Festival of Light – Jerusalem

The annual "Jerusalem Festival of Light" emphasizes the role and perception of light in an urban setting. Artists from Israel and abroad come together to use light in order to create statues, installations, performances, and more. Past festivals have drawn 250,000 visitors to the Old City and have become a major highlight for many.

 

Lights: An Exhibition at the Israel Museum

Throughout history, light acts as an element in the physical sense, and also in the symbolic one: representing the good, the divine, the sublime, truth, reason, and life itself.The Israel Museum exhibit explores these connections.

Yochai Matos, Landscape, 2011

Light Installations

Israeli artist Yochai Matos uses light as his paintbrush.  His installations span hundreds of fluorescent bulbs from simple white to an array of colors, communicating striking emotions, simple slogans or symbolic suggestions.

"Happy Chanukkah" by Matisyahu

The Jewish reggae artist, Matisyahu, released a new Chanukkah song in 2012. All the proceeds through the end of Chanukkah will be donated to Hurricane Sandy relief.

"Happy Chanukkah, I want to give a gift to you. Light up the night, my love shine through...."