The third annual Festival of Light celebrates the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Quito as a UNESCO World Heritage Center and Quito’s Independence Day on August 10. Each evening from August 8 to August 12, technicians will illuminate the historic center of Quito with ever-changing colors. The faces of several iconic buildings, including the Iglesia Santo Domingo and the La Compañia de Jesus, miraculously come alive when the sky turns dark.
The Fiesta de la Luz has become the most attended cultural event in the history of Ecuador. More than two million people attended in 2017 so please plan accordingly.
If you have a proposed indoor or outdoor light project you would like to include in the Fiesta de la Luz, please contact the city of Quito.
The Festival of Lights is a celebration born in the French city of Lyon. In France, this festival in honor of the Virgin Mary takes place every year on December 8. It began in 1852 when local flooding cancelled the traditional September celebration of the Virgin Mary. The city mayor moved the event to early December but inclement weather once again caused its cancellation. However, when the skies cleared later that evening, city residents took to the streets with candles and Bengal lights. Since that time, the residents of Lyon hold an annual Festival of Lights for four days in December. They also help other cities around the world create their own versions.
As a city of traditions, Quito is a perfect location to replicate the Festival of Lights in South America. Like the residents of Lyon, Quiteños have a close relationship with the Virgin Mary. In Quito, a statue of the Virgin Mary looks over the city from the atop the Panecillo. Furthermore, Quito is known as the Luz de América (Light of America) because many of the libertarian ideas that prompted revolutions throughout South America sprang from this colonial city. Therefore, the Fiesta de la Luz in Quito celebrates both spiritual illumination and the light found in freedom and liberty from a colonial power.