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Best streets for Christmas lights

For as long humans have been feeling cold and dark in winter, candles, lights and flames have been glowing bright though the long nights to cheer us up. All over the world, the tradition burns strong as soon as the holidays approach – even in the Southern hemisphere where the snows have yet to fall! So, if you’re contemplating some festive travelling here are the top four best streets for Christmas lights worth making a seasonal pilgrimage to during your holiday adventures.

1. Miracle on 34th Street, Baltimore, Maryland

Since 1947, the residents of 700 block of 34th Street have been drawing hundreds of festive fun-seekers every evening between November and January. Be sure to find Elaine Doyle-Gillespie’s artwork on the theme of peace among the thousands of streamers, trees, decorations and lights in the houses and gardens. Homely, yet spectacular, wandering along the street with the other families admiring the creativity of the neighbourhood, will leave you with the perfect festive feeling.

2. Los Alumbrados, Pueblo Paisa, Medellin, Colombia

The beguiling village of Pueblo Paisa high up in the hills overlooks the Medellin valley and river, all along which Christmas lights are spread out during the holiday season. 15 million colourful light bulbs and over 300 kilometres of cable make for a spectacular view of the villages, botanical gardens, parks and riverbanks around Medellin. Time your visit if you can to see the parade of Desfile de Danzas, Mitos y Leyendas on 7 December every year. On this night the legends of the region are enacted in a dance parade. The lights form a central part of the celebrations and create a carnival atmosphere that’s been going strong at Christmas time in Colombia since 1955.

3. Oxford Street Christmas Lights, London, UK

Usually switched on by celebrities in early November, Oxford Street makes the top five as a homage to Christmas movies set in London and those most festive of films (if not strictly Christmas movies) Harry Potter. With the classic English red buses shifting up and down the shopping street, under fashionable London displays, you can’t help but feel seasonal cheer. Venture off Oxford Street, continuing along Bond Street or taking a turn onto Regent Street and Carnaby Street to continue your education of English Christmas lights. And if you have to do some shopping along the way, stopping off in Harrods say, it’s just a burden you’ll have to bear.

4. Second Street, Ashbury, Sydney, Australia

Not your typical snowy affair, but rather a balmy, mellow evening typical of Sydney. Enjoy the vibrant illuminations of Second Street the only way that would be right down under, with a classic chardy and chip ‘n’ dip, BBQ snacks for all, and with smells of cooking and fragrant gardens on the air, you’ll be relaxing into your most chilled out of seasonal celebrations. Everyone in the neighbourhood takes time to break bread with visitors, making for a wonderful festive feeling in the true spirit of Christmas. Of course, what you came to see was the light displays, and you can rest assured this street holds its own, even taking on the likes of the more famous Oxford Street or Miracle on 34th.

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