The Medellin Christmas Lights project that began as a modest event in Medellin in 1955 has grown to become an internationally known holiday spectacle. The Alumbrado – The Lighting of Medellin has placed the city in National Geographics’ 2012 top ten cities worldwide to view Christmas lights.
Traditionally the event has started on the 7th of December which is the unofficial start of the Colombian Christmas season. Due to the growing number of tourists that visit each year the lights will shine every evening from Dec. 1, 2103 to January 14, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 1 a.m.
For 2013 there will be over 27 million light bulbs used with 10 tons of metallic paper, 150 tons of iron in the figurines along with 10,000 LED strings of 10 meters in length and a total of 730 kilometers of light hoses. The workforce used to construct these lighting displays is mainly made up of women who are heads of their households. Overall the project creates 1,500 jobs.
Besides the traditional River Walk, light displays can be viewed at Avenida La Playa, Parque Bolivar, Carerra Carabobo, Avenida San Juan, The EPM Intelligent Building and the traffic circles at Colombia, 30th, 33rd and 35th.
Each year the displays are created anew. The City of Medellin has created a market for its lighting displays which are sold to other municipalities at the end of the holiday season.
The display of lights throughout Colombia during Christmas is spectacular, almost to the point of being overwhelming. Nonetheless the Medellin Christmas Lights display is a site to behold.
The photos were taken by the public utility company, EPM, which mounts the project every year.