The Reykjavík Winter Lights Festival starts today. The festival is a celebration of the transition of darkness into light as Iceland travels out of the heart of winter, and is free to all residents and visitors of Reykjavík.

Winter Lights kicks off with a grand opening ceremony tonight at 7pm, at Hallgrímskirkja, the iconic, large church in downtown Reykjavík. Once the festival is in full swing, there are over 200 different events between today and Sunday.


See Also: Winter Lights Festival Begins in Reykjavik Tomorrow


We’ve put together some of the highlights of this evening we are excited about, to help you start this four-day festival.

The Winter Lights Walking Path

Winter Lights Walking Path taken from the official festival website

For the entire festival, six specially chosen buildings around the city will be illuminated with light projections between 7pm and 11pm. Hallgrímskirkja, Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavík Art Museum, Reykjavík City Hall and the National Gallery of Iceland, will make up a walking path that encompasses the city centre.

The installation projected onto Hallgrímskirkja is the first of the walking path. It is called ‘Passage.’ Here’s a little bit more about the five other installations of the Winter Lights Walking Path.

The Moon Rises at Harpa (Harpa Concert Hall – Sculpture & Shore Walk, 101 Reykjavík)

Credit: Winter Lights Festival Official Site

It’s been 50 years since the Apollo 11 spacecraft left the earth’s atmosphere and eventually landed on the moon. To celebrate this, the moon has come to Harpa.

The artwork is by British artist Luke Jerram is a sphere, seven metres in diameter. The sphere is covered with precise hi-definition images of the moon’s surface from NASA. The result is a photo-realistic illuminated model, and the closest thing most people will ever get to the lunar surface. The moon will be suspended in the main hall of Harpa for the entirety of the festival.

ALDA (Reykjavik City Hall – Tjarnargata 11, 101 Reykjavík)

Credit: Winter Lights Festival Official Site

Inspired by myths and legends of the sea among British and Icelandic sailors in past centuries, ALDA is a video and music installation. It’s a new piece from Icelandic artist and composer Dodda Maggy.


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de:LUX – Lights at the art museum. (National Gallery of Iceland – Fríkirkjuvegur 7, 101, Reykjavík)

Credit: Winter Lights Festival Official Site

Lights at the Museum is an exploration and celebration of the history and architecture of the National Gallery of Iceland.

The de:Lux art group have created this piece in 48 hours which is an interaction of light and sound projected onto the front of this historic building. The piece is produced in collaboration with the Factory Light Festival in Norway and is sponsored by the Nordic and Creative Europe funding bodies.

Second Litany (Reykjavík Art Museum – Tryggvagata 17, 101, Reykjavík)

Credit: Winter Lights Festival Official Site

This piece is produced by Boris Vitazek, an artist from Bratislava, Slovakia. This unique installation ties visual art, music, creative coding and technology. The piece uses projection mapping and spatial illusion accompanied by music to explore religious experiences.

Tiny Massive

Credit: Winter Lights Festival Official Site

Iceland’s famous concert hall Harpa is filled with lights. Its glassy wall forms a huge screen with a low resolution. In Tiny/Massive the question is asked, “How can this screen make people’s experience of the city more fun?”

Around 60 interactive pieces, video games and pieces from around the world will be on display in Harpa’s Façade throughout the festival.

Find the full program here


What are you excited about seeing during the Winter Lights Festival? Make sure you log on to Guide to Iceland Now tomorrow to check out more highlights.