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Ateneum Art Museum clad in magenta during the LUX Helsinki Light Festival on Friday January 8 2016. Picture: Rory Barr for Finland Today

“Gorgeous building! The lights really bring out the stone work of the Ateneum. What’s this called? Candy House? Oh my God! Did you just see that? There is a girl right in front of you wearing just a pair of chucks, bare skin and skinny jeans. No socks! Is she crazy?

Here we are. A couple of freezing Canadians out into the frigid temps of a Finnish winter awe-inspired by the Lux Helsinki 2016 Light Festival on Friday evening. In addition to the multiple beautiful installations, we got serious kicks from watching and overhearing the peanut gallery at each stop.

“Ah, Remi Brun’s Loupy Lou! Did you know that the movements were based on his eight-year-old daughter’s skipping? Don’t look now, but the guy ahead of us is just wearing sweatpants. Sweatpants! There is no way he is sweating and those are barely pants! Is he a Wookiee under those pants? Is that how he is getting away with wearing just some skimpy cotton?!”

Is he a Wookiee under those pants? Is that how he is getting away with wearing just some skimpy cotton?!

The weather app we were using claimed that it was “only” -15 degrees Celsius outside, but with the wind chill, it was easily -20 again.

“Ahhhh! I hear Prokofiev!” *runs towards instillation* “This moment is more magical than when we saw Michael Monroe at the Design Fair!”

“I’m so cold, I think my lips just fell off. Let’s get some hot chocolate.”

“Yes! And we can add in some fireball whiskey!” “And what, get a little drunk? And then walk on this ice sheet they call streets? We will both fall and lose teeth. FRONT teeth.”

“It’s so cold…the sea! It’s starting to freeze over!” “Let’s go look!” “HELL NO.”

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The former residents of the Tori Quarters come to life in the figures bent from wire by Alexander Reichstein at Sofiankatu. Picture: Rory Barr for Finland Today

“Oh, look! There is more on the Esplanade! There is a pretty installation at the top of this very long set of stone stair . . . oh wait. We will slip, fall and die.”

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Finnish design and frost go together like Canadians and Canada Goose jackets. Picture: Rory Barr for Finland Today

The annual light festival was beautiful and gratis. However, is it worth losing the tips of one’s fingers and nose for some free entertainment?

It was clearly just the “un-Finns” that were complaining and huddling together for the scant warmth already cold bodies can exude. We were the people wearing *two* Canada Goose jackets layered on top of each other and still shivering. It was the Finns that were trotting around wearing a light scarf and just a thin wool coat with like was mentioned . . . no socks or bare arms, you get the picture. They are winter!

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Images of Joy displays eight different images from eight different artists on the surface of the Helsinki Cathedral. Picture: Rory Barr for Finland Today

More info

The Lux Helsinki Light Festival is held from 17:00 to 22:00 until Sunday January 10 2016. The artworks are on display along a new route running from the Ateneum Art Museum to Annantalo, centering on the Esplanade Park, Bulevardi and Annankatu. More than 15 of the light artworks are created by the most fascinating light and media artists from Finland, France, Belgium and Canada.

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