20 Things You Didn't Know About Temple Square at Christmastime

by | Dec. 22, 2017


The lights on Temple Square are turned on daily at sunset starting the Friday after Thanksgiving and go off at 10pm. The last night of the display is New Year's Eve. 

6. In the 1940s, the lights on Temple Square, even flood lights on the grounds, were turned off. Laura F. Willes, author of Christmas with the Prophets, shares: "I was almost horrified to read that Salt Lake was dark at night during WWII and that the temple wasn’t even lit up. And then to have the ceasefire announced and Heber J. Grant instructing to have the lights turned on again. He died only days after that.”

7. Later, in 1973, the Christmas lights on Temple Square were turned off again. This was in response to U.S. president Nixon's request to conserve energy during the energy crisis.

8. In 2002, the lights were left on throughout the Winter Olympic Games hosted in Salt Lake City. This was done to share the message of Christ with an even greater global audience. 

9. Workers start putting up the lights in August every year, and it takes two and a half months to take them back down--which means the lights are on Temple square more than half the year. Though time-consuming, this is done because trees grow anywhere from 18 inches to 6 feet each year, and the lights used one year might not fit the tree properly the next. 

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