School is out for the summer.
Temperatures are rising
and the Jerusalem, Israel, streets are warming up.
At night in the Old City
the Jerusalem Light Festival is lighting up the streets.
‘Interactive’ is this year’s theme.
I like to arrive at the Old City early before dark
to be at the starting point at Jaffa Gate.
Giant picture frames were ready for selfies,
and the Tower of David looked too good not to share.
A giant mobile, “Drawn in Light”
hovered near the Jaffa Gate.
This “Cathedral of Mirrors” needed audience participation.
The circles of “The Pool” were being tested.
It was opening night
and last minute electrical work was being done,
and the “Peacock” arrived near Zion Gate.
In Dormition Alley,
“Upside Down” is the work of the son of an Israeli friend.
Approximately half of the 39 installations
were created by international artists, from Australia to US.
Along the trail there were spots with
with a variety of live musicians.
This year the Rova, the Jewish Quarter Square,
featured one of the festival highlights.
A group of soldiers posed for this photo
in the light projections on the Hurva Synagogue.
Instead of marking the path with different colored lights,
this year orange arrows led the way.
For the first time I did not get lost
around Muristan Square,
where giant elephants were in the “Oasis.”
Some stores in the Old City were open
while some lanes were quiet.
The “Journey into Space” on HaAhim Street,
was overhead, as the trail led to New Gate,
and out from the Old City Walls.
Damascus Gate was much quieter than usual,
and across the road the area was much cleaner than in the past.
#39 listed on the program was
“Interactive shadows” in Zedekiah’s Cave.
It was hard to photograph,
as images changed with the movements of visitors.
But as we walked further into the cave,
though it was hot and humid,
the music we were hearing along the way
was live from this pianist.
Though the month of Ramadan is over,
the lights strung for Ramadan were still up.
Notre Dame was also visible in the distance
as we exited the cave, which is
also known as Solomon’s Stables,
and is located minutes away from the Damascus Gate.
This is the only time all year,
I walk alone in the dark near Damascus Gate,
and “Horizontal Interference” lit up the way through the palm trees.
A few minutes away at Zahal Square
the “Impulse” seesaws were filled with enthusiastic young people.
The whole route takes at least 3 hours to complete.
With school over, and the festival going to July 6,
the size of the crowds have increased.
I like going on the first night and getting there early
before it gets crowded.
This show with dancers using fire torches
and movement intrigued the audience.
But if you do not get to Jerusalem, Israel,
to see this Festival of Light in Jerusalem 2017,
and take five minutes and enjoy this video
of the light projection on the Hurva Synagogue,