LUX Helsinki

January may feel boring after the Christmas season but not in Helsinki!

Last year I visited the LUX Helsinki light festival for the first time but it’s actually been arranged since 2012. The festival lasts five days (6.-9.1.17) from 5 to 10 pm and it’s free of charge for all visitors. This year people braved freezing temperatures to see what the artists had created for us.

Let’s have a look at some of my favourite pieces. Our tour started in front of Kappeli at the Espa stage with Jenni Kääriäinen’s a Shade.


a Shade is a mosaic made up of thousands of anonymous x-rays. The artist’s installation conveys how light leaves a mark – a memory. It was actually quite eerie and oppressive as the music and lights added to the mood. I think that art is supposed to make you feel something, so that certainly happened here.


Walking along the Espa, you could see the lights at the Market Square from afar.


All the beautiful buildings by the waterfront were illuminated by changing colors of light.


What this must’ve looked like from the sea!


I was most looking forward to the white Stora Enso building designed by Alvar Aalto being lighted up.


The animation, Cube by Shader, was accompanied with music. In it, analogue and digital, nature and technology, old and new were mixed together.


Here’s a quick peek at the area via video.

It was easy to go around even without a map, as the installations were marked with yellow LUX signs and arrows. Very handy indeed, as taking out my phone in the freezing temperature was not an easy affair.


Last year I was most impressed with the light installations reflected on the Helsinki Cathedral. This year all four sides were illuminated by the Domus 360° – Four Homes.


Kaisa Salmi’s Ronda had such rich colors that you could not love it.


Still, my best-loved out of the four was Outi Pieski’s waterfalls – Gorži. The water pours out of the windows of the Helsinki Cathedral chapel. The installation celebrates the start of a centenary year for the Sami people. According to the Sami people’s tradition nature is equal to man. Often environmental protection and climate issues come up when talking about the rights of indigenous people – so the waterfalls are quite fitting. It really was beautiful, maybe my favourite piece of the whole festival.


On the Senate Square Rölli Ridanpää and Tero Laine had created Light Pipes. The installation was interactive and you could adjust the brightness of the lamps yourself by turning the valves. This, people could work together to make the city dim or shine in brightness.


I love the courtyard of Univeristy of Helsinki’s Topelia building. Now it was even more special as The Flowers of Life had taken over. It was possible to walk through the garden and enjoy all the magic of light!


Kalle Mustonen’s TELLMEHOWDOIFEEL was super cute. It references to the song Blue Monday by New Order. The installation is constructed out of wood. This would make the perfect Instagram photo wouldn’t it?


How do you feel about a festival like this? I must admit that I’m in love with the festival. I’m glad that City of Helsinki arranges events outside in the winter too. This time of year tends to be a bit dull and dark, so a lights brightening up Helsinki and bringing people together is just the perfect thing.

Did you visit LUX Helsinki this year? If so, what was your favourite piece?


14 thoughts on “LUX Helsinki

  1. Nice pictures, Suvi! I admire you for being so active! It seems you’re always exploring and discovering – good for you! 😊I visited Lux last year and it was soooo cold then… so this year I skipped it. Hubby went and showed me some pics from his phone, that’ll do! 😉 Why can’t it be earlier, in November for example, then it wouldn’t be so cold…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this week I’m going to concentrate on reading instead of exploring! I finally got into the mood of reading again, I don’t want to lose it 🙂 Last year’s LUX was better (at least in my opinion LOL), so I’m glad to hear that you saw that!!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ooh yes, you should read that! I just finished The Book of Memory. A few days ago I started All the Ugly and Wonderful Things but I’m not so sure about it. Let’s see!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Your photos of Lux are really beautiful – I enjoyed seeing all those familiar buildings illuminated so tastefully. Did you manage to operate your camera with your glove on? If not, your fingers must have got very cold! Thank you for sharing these sights Suvi. M.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you M ❤ I must say it was a bit difficult but I was prepared with a pair of thinner gloves in addition to my thick ones. So I did have gloves on at all times 🙂 Switched to the thicker ones if my fingers started freezing! 🙂 Now the snow is melting, so we have some relief from the freezing temperatures.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for you encouragement on the photos Alice! Lovely to hear that you like light shows too. In Finland you can’t have shows like this in summer as there’s no darkness, so winter is the perfect time for such a festival. Lovely to have you visit my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny, at first when looking from outside, I really hated the X-ray display! But when I went inside and heard the music and got into the mood of the exhibit, my mind changed. Thank you for your kind words Georgina ❤


    1. Thank you so much Viivi – if it had been snowing, I don’t think it would’ve been so magical! It was the perfect evening to visit even though it was frightfully cold.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments make my day, so drop me a line!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s