With hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights—hung and sparkling from trees, adorned and dazzling in shrubs—visiting Temple Square is one of Utah’s longest-running holiday traditions. People from across the state—estimated at tens of thousands—attend the annual event in downtown Salt Lake City at the 10-acre complex owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The above shot was taken from the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Visitors can see the lights every day until 9pm (buildings close at 10pm, gates close at 10:30pm).
The Lighting of Temple Square dates back to Thursday, Dec. 9, 1965, when the inaugural tree lighting was attending by nearly 15,000 people. LDS Church President David O. McKay did the honors of flipping the switch on approximately 40,000 Christmas lights before addressing the crowd: "Our minds tonight should be on the Babe of Bethlehem whose coming into the world Christmas morning reminds us all that we each should have in our hearts the love of Christ.”