Lighting Up the Night

Around the world, people are using light to paint, perform, honor, work, and play. In villages and cities alike, lanterns and candles are used to celebrate and commemorate events. In Berlin, famous landmarks are currently being illuminated for the annual Festival of Lights. In Florida, a private spacecraft climbed into orbit atop a pillar of fire, and around the globe, dozens of buildings were bathed in pink for breast cancer awareness month. Gathered here is a handful of recent images of humans pushing back the dark and lighting up the night.
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1. An artist takes part in Luxlumina light performance during the first annual festival of visual theatre on a street in downtown Sofia, Bulgaria, on September 22, 2012.




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2. The Berliner Dom cathedral and the television tower are illuminated during the opening day of the Festival of Lights in Berlin, on October 10, 2012. 68 landmarks of the German capital, including boulevards, squares, towers, historical and modern buildings, are illuminated during the festival that runs until October 21.




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3. The Basilica Sagrada Familia is illuminated during the "Montreal Signe Ode a la Vie" light show by Canadian company Moment Factory as part of the Merce Festival in Barcelona, Spain, on September 21, 2012.




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4. The Basilica Sagrada Familia, during the "Montreal Signe Ode a la Vie" light show in Barcelona, on September 21, 2012.




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5. People release lanterns in Poznan, Poland, on June 21, 2012. Thousands of lanterns were released to mark the shortest night of the year.




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6. People walk in front of rows of lit lanterns during the Mitama Matsuri festival at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, on July 15, 2012. Some 30,000 lanterns were illuminated in the precinct in memory of victims of war.




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7. People watch a tall ship on the Neva River in St. Petersburg, during the "Scarlet Sails," a romantic holiday with a light show to honor high schools graduates, on June 24, 2012. "Scarlet Sails" is the title of a story by Alexander Grin, the story of a young girl, who never gave up on her dreams and they finally arrived on the tall ship with the scarlet sails.




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8. The sails of the Sydney Opera House, illuminated as part of Vivid Sydney on May 25, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Vivid Sydney is the largest festival of lights in the Southern Hemisphere with over 60 art and light installations displayed throughout the city.




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9. A blacksmith throws molten metal against a cold wall to create sparks, celebrating the Lantern Festival in Nuanquan, Hebei province, China, on February 6, 2012.




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10. Runners and walkers wearing light emitting suits and holding light sticks make their way up Arthur's Seat as part of a dress rehearsal of a mass participation public art piece called "Speed of Light" on August 8, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The piece which forms part of the annual Edinburgh Festival is set to illuminate the iconic natural monument as hundreds of people make their way up and around, creating streaks of light as they go.




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11. Runners and walkers wearing light emitting suits climb up Arthur's Seat as part of a dress rehearsal of "Speed of Light" in Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 8, 2012. Each of the walkers' glowing sticks is also set to provide a musical accompaniment as their movement triggers the sticks to create different sounds.




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12. The moon appears behind illuminated decorations at Victoria Park to celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong, on September 27, 2012.




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13. An F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft of the Swiss Air Force releases flares during a flight demonstration over Axalp in the Bernese Oberland, on October 11, 2012.




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14. People gather at the Festival Of Lights around the illuminated Berlin Cathedral in Berlin, on October 10, 2012.




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15. Magician David Blaine channels bolts of electricity from various Tesla coils charged with one million volts of electricity during a stunt on Pier 54 in New York, on October 5, 2012.




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16. Magician David Blaine performs his "Electrified: 1 Million Volts Always On" stunt in New York, on October 7, 2012.




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17. The annual "Tribute in Light" memorial, lit during the 11th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the lower Manhattan site of the World Trade Center in New York. One World Trade Center, under construction, is lighted in red, white and blue.




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18. The Tribute in Light illuminates the sky over Lower Manhattan in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks on the 11-year anniversary in New York, on September 11, 2012.




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19. The view looking up, from inside the ring of spotlights making up the Tribute in Light in New York, on September 10, 2012.




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20. The statue of German poet Friedrich Schiller stands between illuminated Concert Hall (left) and the French Cathedral in Berlin, on October 10, 2012, part of the yearly "Festival of light".




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21. People walk in front of the Cathedral of Brasilia, which is illuminated in pink to commemorate breast cancer awareness month in Brasilia, Brazil, on October 2, 2012.




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22. People gather at the Festival Of Lights around bright sculptures named Time Guardians under illuminated trees at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin,on October 10, 2012.




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23. Tracer bullets ricochet off their targets as Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force Type 74 and Type 90 armored tanks fire machine guns during a night training session at Higashifuji training field in Gotemba, west of Tokyo, on August 21, 2012. Mt. Fuji stands in the background.




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24. Tourists take pictures in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue lit up in the colors of Germany's national flag in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 3, 2012. The lit statue celebrates the anniversary of the reunification of Germany, which was officially reunited on October 3, 1990.




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25. The moon rises behind the skyline of New York's Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center as lights are reflected on the Hudson River as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey, on October 1, 2012.




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26. Trees lit by colored lights are reflected in Loch Dunmore in Faskally Wood, in Pitlochry, Scotland, on October 4, 2012. The lighting was set up for an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Enchanted Forest, a sound and light show in the Faskally Wood that runs from October 5 to 27.




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27. The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on October 7, 2012. The rocket carried supplies to the International Space Station.




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28. Fireworks illuminate Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, to celebrate the victory of of Mohammed Morsi, in the country's presidential election, on June 24, 2012.




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29. Paper lanterns float on the Motoyasu River in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome (center) in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 2012. Tens of thousands of people marked the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, as a rising tide of anti-nuclear sentiment swells in post-Fukushima Japan.




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30. performers spin their illuminated hula hoops during a flashmob in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany, on July 27, 2012. The flashmob was part of a three day festival "Hoopurbia", offering workshops, dance parties and performance showcases with hula hoops.




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31. Actors perform a theatrical re-enactment of the Red Army and the beginning of the Long March in Jinggangshan, Jiangxi province, China, on September 20, 2012. Jinggangshan is where former Chinese leader Mao Zedong's career as a revolutionary began to take off. In 1927, Mao and several communist leaders fled with a few thousands to the hills of Jinggangshan, hounded and outnumbered by Nationalist forces.