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Thousands of people visit Temple Square in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City the day after Thanksgiving for the lighting ceremony every year. It’s an annual tradition for many families, who gather near the Salt Lake Temple to watch millions of sparkling lights illuminate the popular tourist attraction during the Christmas season—a time when faithful Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. There is no cost to visit Temple Square and walk around the 35 acres of decorated landscape.
Children share their enthusiasm over the Christmas lights.
A floating nativity is placed in the reflecting pond just east of the Salt Lake Temple during the holidays.
Bursts of blue, green and gold lights highlight the Salt Lake Temple.
The magic of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a young girl.
It takes grounds crews months to decorate Temple Square for Christmastime. They start wrapping the trees with strands of colored lights in August when there’s still foliage on the branches.
A Church-service missionary aims the camera lens toward the angel Moroni on the top of the Salt Lake Temple, framing it in Christmas lights.
Guests also capture the stunning views on their cameras and smartphones to treasure the memories and share the beauty with others.
Luminaries, in a number of languages, are placed around Temple Square tell the story of the Savior’s birth.
Photographers volunteering their time and talents as Church-service missionaries were on hand to capture some of the moments at this year’s lighting celebration.
“Light the World” is the theme of the Christmas initiative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for this year, which is perfect to describe the popular lighting event that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the globe.
Visitors can also see various crèches, representing different cultures from around the world, depicting the scene of Christ’s birth.
The Church’s “Light the World” initiative focuses on celebrating and sharing the light of Jesus Christ, the “light of the world” (John 8:12).
Additional displays can be found in the visitors’ centers on Temple Square, where guests can come inside to get warm and see other Christmas decorations.
The lights will brighten Temple Square every morning and evening through January 3, 2017, to usher in the new year.
The Lehi Junior High School Handbell Choir performs in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Guests can see free Christmas musical performances from Utah schools and other performing groups throughout the day and evening in various locations, including the Assembly Hall, Church Office Building and Joseph Smith Memorial Building.