Nobel Week Lights

A Bright Christmas #7

Have you ever been to Stockholm in December? If you have, I bet you have noticed two things. One: it gets dark incredibly early. Two: the citizens of Stockholm are extremely determined to defeat this darkness. With success: the vast amount of twinkling lights everywhere in the city center can brighten any gloomy winter night. It’s really a magical experience to go for a stroll after dark, especially when the first snow has fallen.

December is a special time of the year for scientists in Stockholm as well, as it is also the time of the Nobel Week. Instead of the traditional ceremony in Stockholm’s concert house followed by the Nobel banquet in the City Hall on December 10th, this year the ceremonial presentations are spread out across two days and the banquet has been cancelled. The good news is that you can still follow all the celebrations online. You can also watch live streams of the Nobel Prize Lectures,  starting with the Nobel Prize Lecture in Physiology or Medicine already today (December 7th) at 13:00.

This year’s Nobel Week celebrations include an extra special feature which is very covid-proof, for free and takes place outdoors: the Nobel Week Lights! This artistic tribute to Nobel Prize winners consists of 16 lighting installations in the center of Stockholm, shown each day from 15:30 to 23:00 from December 5th to 13th.

“Opera lights: the art of looking forward”, The Royal Swedish Opera.

The very fitting theme of this festival is “Light in darkness” (“Ljus i mörkret”). Since the lighting installations are an addition to the usual decorations, they can be quite subtle to notice at first, but you can find all of them on the map of the full program. What could be a better way to brighten up the dark December days while counting down to “A Bright Christmas”?

“Space”, Stockholm City Hall.

All photos by Jarda Zaoral.

Header image: “Camus lights up”, Kulturhuset Stadsteatern. Nobel Prize winner in Literature Albert Camus said in his speech at the banquet: “I could never renounce the light” (“jag kunde aldrig ge upp ljuset”).

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