Celebratory lighting

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Celebratory lighting (also termed festive lighting) is the use of lighting for decorative, celebratory or recreational purposes in connection with a specific festival, observance or event in a given culture.

Whilst one of the most commonly known form of Celebratory lighting is the European (and later North American) tradition of Christmas lights, many cultures have used Celebratory lighting in specific cultural circumstances.

Closely related to celebratory lighting, are:

  • the use of organised illuminations as semi-public entertainment, a concept which in some forms can be traced to the Ancient Chinese[citation needed], although the modern form largely developed during the nineteenth century[citation needed]
  • Ritual lighting, in connection with specific religious practices.

Celebratory lighting around the world[edit]

United States[edit]

In the United States, celebratory lighting occurs at many times of the year. Lights have been produced for many holidays. These may range from simple lighting sets in appropriate colors up to more elaborate illuminated sculptures, and full blown tablauex

Halloween is a popular holiday for celebratory lighting, with miniature light strings having black-insulated wires and semi-opaque orange bulbs. Later sets had some transparent purple bulbs (a representation of black, similar to blacklight), a few even have transparent green, or a translucent or semi-opaque lime green (possibly representing slime as in Ghostbusters, or creatures like goblins or space aliens). Two types of icicle lights are sold at Halloween: all-orange, and a combination of purple and green known as "slime lights."

Easter lights are often produced in pastels. These typically have white wire and connectors.

Red, white, and blue lights are produced for Independence Day, as well as U.S. flag and other patriotic-themed ornaments. Net lights have been produced with the lights in a U.S. flag pattern. In 2006 some stores carried stakes with LEDs that light fiber-optics, looking similar to fireworks.

These above light strings are occasionally used on Christmas trees anyway, usually to add extra variety to the colors of the lights on the tree.

Various types of patio lighting with no holiday theme are also made for summertime. These are often clear white lights, but most are ornament sets, such as lanterns made of metal or bamboo, or plastic ornaments in the shape of barbecue condiments, flamingos and palm trees, or even various beers. Some are made of decorative wire or mesh, in abstract shapes such as dragonflies, often with glass "gems" or marbles. Light sculptures are also made in everything from wire-mesh frogs to artificial palm trees outlined in rope lights.