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City of light

The encyclopaedia tells us that Thomas Alva Edison built the world's first electric power plant in New York in 1882. What it doesn't mention, but could have, is that the first electric light in Finland flared into brightness in Tampere the very same year, powered by Edison generator no. 3. Six years later, in 1888, the country's first electric street lights, 30 arc lamps, were switched on, likewise in Tampere. Even that long ago, Tampere had a sensitive finger on the pulse of the times and, quite literally, showed Finland the light in an era of technological upheaval.

In that light, it seems the most natural of things for the city to celebrate its Tampere Illuminations festival during the darkest period of the year: from 1.10.2000 to 2.1.2001. Three months of colourful lights in many shapes will glitter above the streets in the centre of the city. The tradition is now 35 years old.