Sydney came to life with a dazzling display of colors and light as the harbor city kicked off its annual Vivid Sydney festival of light, art, and culture, the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

At the center of the celebrations, which last year attracted 2.5 million festivalgoers, hundreds of art installations and 3D light projections will illuminate city landmarks including Circular Quay, The Rocks, and Darling Harbour, and, for the first time this year, The Royal Botanic Garden.

This year’s festival runs from 26 May to 17 June. It also takes in a new program of culinary events and 23 nights of free live music, with First Nations voices at the forefront. Venues including the Sydney Opera House will host performances from artists such as Yothu Yindi, Ziggy Ramo, Emma Donovan, and Budjerah.

More than 60 light installations, some incorporating water fountains, kaleidoscopic design, and superscale 3D projections, line a five-mile illuminated walk that connects the city’s buildings, public spaces, and key landmarks. Artist John Olsen’s animated piece Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened will be unfurling across the sails of the Sydney Opera House, an artwork influenced by his enduring love of Australian nature and landscape.

According to the nationalgeographic