Tom Smart, Deseret News

During the holidays, LDS temples celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with Christmas lights, Nativity scenes and festive events. Listed here are some well-known temples and information on their Christmas displays. All events are free of charge and open to the public. Some events may require tickets, which are also free.

Salt Lake City Utah Temple: Lights on Temple Square
Tom Smart, Deseret News

Nov. 26 to Dec. 31

Throughout the Christmas season, holiday lights illuminate Temple Square. Visitors can take part in seeing the lights and numerous Nativity displays while listening to the Christmas story outside the South Visitors Center. Local musicians also perform on select evenings.

Special performances include a musical production titled "Savior of the World," "A Celebration of Christ" interfaith concert and the annual Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. Tony Award-winning British singer Alfie Boe and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist Tom Brokaw will join the choir and orchestra this year.

The Christmas lights, displays and performances will run until Dec. 31, with special activities and performances held Dec. 29-31 to celebrate New Year's.

For more information about the Lights on Temple Square, visit or Specific event information can be found on the Church News and Events Calendar.

St. George Utah Temple: Festival of Lights
Deseret News archives

Nov. 26 to Dec. 31

The St. George Temple can be found among the thousands of Christmas lights that surround it during Christmastime. This year's celebration features not only lights but also an inspiring Nativity scene as well as a display of Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem.

The lights and displays will run until Dec. 31. Lights turn on around dusk.

For more information, visit the St. George Temple Festival of Light's Facebook page.

Mesa Arizona Temple: Gardens Christmas Light Celebration
Scott P. Adair, Deseret News

Nov. 23 to Dec. 31

The 33rd annual Mesa Arizona Temple Gardens Christmas Light Celebration includes thousands of colorful lights illuminating flower gardens and palm trees, a special Christmas Concert Series, a Nativity exhibit, a display of Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem and recorded messages in English and Spanish.

There will be concert performances by local musical groups and individuals Dec. 1 through Christmas Day. The 30-minute concerts begin each evening promptly at 7 p.m. on the north side of the Visitors Center. Due to limited space, arriving early is encouraged.

A display of Nativity and manger settings, created by artisans of faith from around the world, can found in the Mesa Arizona Temple's Visitors Center from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each evening.

The lights and displays will run until Dec. 31. Lights are illuminated every evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information, visit

Oakland California Temple: The Magic of Christmas at Temple Hill
Lissa Werson, Deseret News archives

Nov. 24 to Jan. 13

Oakland's Temple Hill celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ through numerous events and a light display surrounding the temple. World-class performers include singers, dancers, bell-ringers, instrumentalists and a professional storyteller.

There are live, five-minute Nativity performances every hour during the evenings. Also, the Oakland Temple Visitors Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for tours, exhibits and musical entertainment.

To see a schedule of events, visit A printable brochure is available with a list of the events as well.

Los Angeles California Temple: Festival of Lights
Gary Tomsik, Los Angeles Temple Engineer

Nov. 26 to Dec. 31

Around 340,000 lights decorate the Los Angeles Temple grounds during the holiday season, making it a popular place to visit. Nativity scenes can be found among the lights as well.

The International Crèche Exhibit is located in the Los Angeles Temple Visitors Center, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 31. Musical performances will also be held during the month of December.

For information on performance dates and times, visit the Los Angeles Temple Visitors Center's page on

San Diego California Temple: Sights and Sounds of Christmas

Dec. 1 to Jan. 1

The San Diego Temple celebrates the birth of the Savior with Christmas lights and musical performances. The lights surround the temple grounds.

The Christmas lights, displays and performances will run until Jan. 1. The lights turn on at 5 p.m. and stay illuminated until 11 p.m. every evening.

More information can be found at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site's Facebook page.

Washington D.C. Temple: Festival of Lights
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Nov. 30 to Jan. 1

As part of the Washington, D.C., area's community traditions, the Festival of Lights at the Washington D.C. Temple features more than 600,000 Christmas lights, six decorated Christmas trees, an exhibit of more than 100 Crèches from mutiple nations, a life-sized outdoor Nativity scene and free concerts in a state-of-the-art theater located in the Visitors Center.

A different performing artist or group is showcased each night in December. Each concert is presented twice in the evenings at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The Visitors Center is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and the Christmas lights are illuminated each night at dusk.

For concert dates and times, visit

Hamilton New Zealand Temple
LDS Church News

Each night, the lights at the Hamilton New Zealand Temple are turned on by civic leaders and notable community members. Along with the lights, the Nativity pageants and musical concerts put on during the holiday season serve as a missionary tool.

According to LDS Living, about half the requests the mission receives each year from people wanting to learn more about the gospel come from the visitors who have seen the lights.

Sydney Australia Temple

On Nov. 21, 1992, 12,000 Christmas lights were illuminated at the Sydney Australia Temple.

Now, 20 years later, the display contains 140,000 lights. The display is located at church headquarters adjacent to the temple rather than at the temple itself.

Manila Philippines Temple
Deseret News archives

During Christmastime, the Manila Philippines Temple glows with 360,000 lights in gold, green, red and blue. More than 10,000 people attend the lighting ceremony each year.

For a short time during the holiday season, there are musical programs held in the evenings.

Accra Ghana Temple
Paul Moncur,

Members in Ghana gather to put Christmas lights around the temple and also hold a Christmas devotional. Both European Christmas carols and traditional music are featured during the devotional.