Tuesday, December 24, 2013

St Mary's Cathedral Christmas Light Show

I mentioned this Christmas delight in passing in my post about Sydney's Christmas lights, but I wanted to see it for myself - and of course share it with you!

As I hurried through Sydney's Hyde Park towards St Mary's Cathedral last Wednesday evening it was clear that everyone had the same idea. We had come to see the amazing laser light display staged each evening from 8.30pm. 

Hundreds and hundreds of pedestrians thronged to the huge plaza of Cook and Phillip Square, and minibuses from suburban Catholic parishes and neighbourhood organisations lined up along the street to let excited passengers alight.

For the two weeks leading up to Christmas the 75 metre high facade of St Mary's has become a huge canvas on which to project stained glass-like images and nightly hundreds of spectators gaze in wonder, mobile phones held aloft to capture the photos as the 14 minute show plays over and over until midnight.

We watch as Mary and Joseph's animated journey to Bethlehem takes them through green, grassy areas, as well as the barren Judean desert.

We see the houses and buildings of old Bethlehem as they reach the outskirts of the town and seek a bed for the night.

And we see Mary, Joseph and the newborn Jesus projected on the soaring facade.

You can get a good idea of the scale of the animations by looking at the crowds in the bottom of this picture of the shepherds in the field.

The wise men are featured too, making their journey from far away. [Unfortunately this one's a little blurred].

The Christmas story is followed by a spectacular series of paintings of the Madonna and Child through the ages. It was quite breathtaking to see them so large.

The next scene is a child's view of Christmas, with a nursery and toys.

A Christmas tree is gradually decked out with candlelight and a "Merry Christmas" ribbon.

In this final amazing effect it's almost impossible to tell which is the real architecture of St Mary's and which is part of the pink and blue fantasy!

It's showing nightly from 8.30pm, but only until Christmas Day, so you'll have to hurry. It's worth a trip to the city!


  1. It's a long way to go, so I shall have to enjoy it through your pictures.....thank you! Best wishes, Di, for a peaceful Christmas, and for a healthy and happy 2014.

  2. We had planned to go and stay in the city tonight but I have been sick with a cold and sinusitis for three days and facing the crowds is more than I could endure! WM is tired and just wants a quiet night at home so I guess we've missed it again this year!

  3. This is absolutely stunning! I may never get to Australia, but I have thoroughly enjoyed your Christmas photos!

  4. This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your pictures. Merry Christmas.

  5. Thank you for sharing these photos. What a spectacular sight!!

  6. Ps, Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!

  7. Thank you Di for sharing this.....such a lovely way to tell the true beginnings of Christmas, which is lost with so many now, it upsets me that children no longer no the "real" story of Christmas only "I want..I want". As my children had theirs, I have bought a Fisher Price Nativity toy to go under their trees, my GC love telling each other the story while playing the the Naivity set. As I live in Melbourne I will never see this either...do they do a different story each year or is it the same. Hope you had as nice a day as possible with your family... God Bless....Annette xx

  8. Wow. Really. That's all I can say. Really amazing, and even more so in person, I'm sure. Thank you for sharing!

  9. thanks you for sharing the beautiful light show at St Mary's Cathedral. Its absolutely stunning!

  10. thank you for sharing this beautiful light show. Its absolutely amazing!

  11. So beautiful!!! Hmmm...I can see a quilt collection from your photographs!

  12. What a glorious reminder of the true spirit and meaning of Christmas...thank you so much, Di, for transporting me momentarily back into the pre-Christmas anticipation and uplifting mood. As one who can't actually get to events like this I'm so glad you made it available to me...bless you, dear.


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