Against a backdrop of the Sierra white granite of the temple, fountains, bushes, and lush flowers, the Christmas lights descend from an elegant pool to a glowing manger scene. The lights on the 42 palm trees averaging 60 feet high that line the sides of the pools attract the eye to the five golden spires that crown the temple.
The lights illuminate the temple grounds every night beginning at dusk and remain on until 9:15 p.m. The grounds are open to the public and the nightly display lasts until December 31st.
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The rooftop gardens can be accessed through the front courtyard and up the stairs on either side.
A statue of the 耶穌像 is visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Visitors’ Center to the right of the temple. As you walk quietly past this beautiful statue you may feel the peace of a place devoted to Christ.
In the late 1970s, a group of local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as Mormons) put up about 10,000 lights. The display gradually grew to the current spectacular display of more than 100,000 LED lights.
When the tradition first started, there was an opening ceremony that drew large crowds and local civic leaders. However, in 2010, it was decided that this ceremony detracted from the peace that should prevail at the temple grounds, and a simple lighting at dusk took the place of the ceremony.
The lower lights—those on ground level up to those that can be installed with a six-foot ladder are put up by over 100 Church members, from several of our local church congregations, who volunteer their labor for two Saturdays in November. The lights on the palm trees are installed by paid staff who use tall lifts to hang the lights.
The temple is located at 4770 Lincoln Ave., Oakland California. Although the Christmas lights don’t come on until dusk, the grounds are open from 7:00 A.M. to 9:30 P.M. The Visitors Center is open for virtual tours daily, see https://templehill.org/book-a-tour/ for times and other types of tours available.