Festival of Lights in Oulu- Lumo

Lumo Light Festival is one of the most spectacular things I have experienced lately. It is a free and open event organized by the City of Oulu annually every November since 2013.

A festival to overcome the darkness of November

It is an outdoor festival that attracts more than a hundred thousand people from the city and outside the city.

This time it was held for three days, from 19-21 November 2021, and we had plenty of things to do and wonder during the festival. I went there on the last day, and it was nice to see people on the street hunting arts.


There were 17 different art installations in various places of Oulu city centre, and visitors needed to follow the map and figure out the places to go next.

I forgot time while watching these stunning arts and spent four hours wandering through the city.

The festival started around 4.00 PM, and all the visitors got a leaflet with a map from the starting point that helps track the art pieces. Pointed arrows were installed all over the road, making our lives easier.


The most amazing art installation I saw at the festival was an art called “Solaris”. It was a projection on screens with calm and pleasant background music. That brings back the summer experiences and memories of the warmth of the ocean.

I would like to belong

The places in Oulu city took different forms during the Lumo festival. Valve Culture House was decorated with hundreds and thousands of origami swans hanging on the roof with varying colours of umbrellas. That reminded me of a night under the stars of the Milkyway.


The glowing river of Oulu managed to stand out in the night.

All the strolling through the city will surely make you hungry. Some of the restaurants and cafes in the city centre are collaborating with the festival and visitors can check the locations on a map and buy food at affordable prices. Also, these places are near to the art installations. So, you can enjoy your food while adoring the art.

The Traveler

Oulu cathedral was on another level that day with a video mapping called “The Traveler”. Watching that video installation in the winter cold takes you to a whole new dimension.


The Interior of the Tietomaa tower in Oulu was converted to a “well” using thousands of Compact discs, and it looked more spectacular from the top of the building.


Ouluhalli sports centre received new lightning by following the Lumo festival tradition to reveal one permanent light installation in a public place.

This festival overcomes the darkness and cold of November in Oulu with colours, power, and warmth of light. You can find the videos of the Lumo Light Festival on the City of Oulu YouTube channel.

I hope you will enjoy the Lumo Light Festival in 2022! :)

About the author

Anusha Ihalapathirana from Sri Lanka is studying Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Oulu. She loves to travel and get new experiences. During her free time, she takes short walks in the city and captures photographs of beautiful sceneries.