A Colombian man walks amongst the colorful paper lanterns, illuminating the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia. A Colombian man walks amongst the colorful paper lanterns, illuminating the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia.
Colorful paper lanterns, depicting religious motives, are seen in an artist's workshop before the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia. Colorful paper lanterns, depicting religious motives, are seen in an artist's workshop before the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia.
Colorful paper lanterns, depicting birds from tropical rainforests of Amazonia, are seen shining on the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia. Colorful paper lanterns, depicting birds from tropical rainforests of Amazonia, are seen shining on the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia.
Colorful basket-shape sculptures, made of empty plastic bottles and bottle caps, illuminate the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia. Colorful basket-shape sculptures, made of empty plastic bottles and bottle caps, illuminate the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia.
Colorful paper lanterns, depicting flower blossoms, illuminate the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia. Colorful paper lanterns, depicting flower blossoms, illuminate the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia.
A Colombian girl works on a paper lantern in her house before the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia. A Colombian girl works on a paper lantern in her house before the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia.
Colorful paper lanterns, depicting birds from tropical rainforests of Amazonia, are seen shining on the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia. Colorful paper lanterns, depicting birds from tropical rainforests of Amazonia, are seen shining on the street during the annual Festival of Candles and Lanterns in Quimbaya, Colombia.

Festival of Candles and Lanterns

Quimbaya, Colombia – December 2013

A vibrant event, celebrated since 1982 and attracting tens of thousands of visitors every year, is held in honor of the Virgin Mary, on the day of the Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Each street and neighborhood in the town compete in the contest to create the most spectacular lighting arrangement of their place, employing creatively elaborated lantern designs, which range from religious themes, to symbols of the coffee region or the environmental and wild nature motives. All the streets in Quimbaya center close for one night and some 40,000 lanterns are being lightened up at the festive night.

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