Thousands of lights adorn the grounds of the Sydney Australia Temple during the holiday season. Similar to lighting displays at other temples, the presentation also features life-size nativity characters and an art show. The collection of paintings in the show chronicles the life of Jesus Christ from birth to resurrection.
Christmas lighting displays are uncommon in Australian culture, so the staging at the temple provides a unique means of celebrating the holiday for thousands of residents, according to Alan Wakeley, country director of Public Affairs for the Latter-day Saints.
The lighting exhibit includes some 140,000 multi-colored lights covering the grounds of the Sydney Temple in Carlingford. The display, now in its 20th year, draws thousands of guests during the holiday time period.
Also included at the setting is a life-size nativity scene with characters in carefully crafted costumes. The camels defining the setting were hand-carved by a local artist, according to Wakeley.
In the adjoining, historic Buckland House an art exhibit entitled, “Life of Jesus Christ in Art” includes some 35 works of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann and Harry Anderson. Work of local artists and recently produced videos on the life of Christ will also be a part of the exhibit, which runs evenings through 31 December.
Recent visitors on the temple grounds noted the events in the life of Jesus Christ noted in the art exhibit. A young Chinese couple explained the Christian scenes to their mother who was visiting from China. “My mother knew nothing of Jesus,” the young Chinese woman said, “so this has given her insight to new ideas.”
Another guest from India expressed appreciation for the holiday exhibit. “Christmas is my only day off work in the month of December and I love to spend part of my celebration in this beautiful exhibit.”