>> Candle Night in Solviva Organic Farm--Lights of Soil, Lights of Winds
>> Turn off the Lights and Watch the Stars on October 17--Lights-Down Event in Kofu Valley
>> Candle Night Summer Solstice 2009--Report on June 21
>> Event report: Dim It 2009--Hong Kong
>> Enjoy the Starlight--The International Year of Astronomy 2009
>> Event: 'Dim It' in Hong Kong-- Lights-out Event on June 21 (Updated)
>> Many People Enjoyed Candle Night--Candle Night Saskatchewan, Canada
>> Brief Report on Candle Night December 2008
>> Candle Night in Slovenia--Event Report in December 2009
>> Candle Night in Zenryouji Temple--'Go home make a wish'
>> Recreating Ancient Night of 'Heian' Dynasty--Lights-down at Kyoto Gyoen Forests
>> Event Report: Dim It--Hong Kong
>> Event Report: Lights Out Day in China
>> Event Report: Lights Out Day--Taiwan
>> Event Report: Candle Night Korea
>> Over 65,000 Facilities to Join--MOE's Lights Down Campaign
>> Event Update: Candle Night Korea
>> Brief Report of Candle Night Winter Solstice 2007
>> Artist's Performances--Candle Night in Governador Valadares, Brazil
>> Getting the Candle Night Message Across to the World--Fuji Xerox Co.
>> A Family's Wishes on Candle Night--The Story of Ivory
>> Effects of MOE's "Lights Down" Campaign June 2007
>> Candle Night in Taipei 2007
>> Candle Night Summer Solstice 2007 in Tokyo
>> MOE's 'Lights Down Campaign'--Black Illumination 2007
>> Mauritius held the 2nd Candle Night.
>> "Five-minute Action" took place in Europe, Feb 1, 2007
>> Reports from Overseas--December 2006
>> Candle Night Winter Solstice 2006--Kobe, Japan
>> Preparation also Underway in Candlelight--South Korea Winter 2006
>> A Brief Report of Candle Night Summer Solstice 2006
>> MOE's Black Illumination 2006
>> National Candle Night in Mauritius 2006
>> Milk Carton Lanterns Lighting up Kumamoto
>> Beeswax candle workshop and volunteer meeting at JFS
>> Candle Night Winter Solstice 2006--Rikkyo University
>> A Living Organism--Candle Night in Sapporo 2005
>> Candle Night in Shanghai 2005
>> Greetings to Candle Nighters on the other side of the world.
>> Candle Night in South Korea 2005
>> Candle Night at Harajuku Cat Street
>> 'Candle Night'-Summer Solstice 2004 in Japan

Candle Night in Shanghai 2005

Shanghai, China is a city full of brightly lit high rises equipped with many electric appliances. Like the Japanese, the people in Shanghai have realized the importance of saving energy. They are learning about the effects of global warming, due in part to a series of hot summers in past years. The first Candle Night event was held in Shanghai in June 2005. We interviewed Ms. Fan Li, Executive Director of Global Links Initiative (GLI). GLI is a non-governmental organization that supports communications between China, Japan and the United Kingdom.

"Although we have had 'Candle Nights' so far, the GLI is the first organization in China that promotes the campaign by putting much needed focus on the environment. On June 21, 2005, more than 20 children gathered at the Shanghai Discovery Children's Museum (SDCM), an NGO that supports children's education. At the event, children had a short lecture on the global CO2 increase and decrease caused by human activities such as driving automobiles and cutting down forest trees. Plastic bottles were used as models of the earth to illustrate changing volumes of CO2. They then spent the evening under the candlelight. They seldom use candles in their daily lives and I'm sure they felt something--peace or the environment--under a romantic atmosphere created by candles, something different from their lives filled with artificial electric lights."


(Photo: GLI)

The first Candle Night event was triggered by the Ecology Earth Art 21 International Exhibition at the National Chinese Art Academy Museum in Shanghai in April 2005. At this event, more than 200 Japanese artists exhibited their works of calligraphy, paintings and modeling/sculptures, to educatethe public on the principles of environmental conservation. During the exhibition, Mr. Yokozawa Yoshitaka, one of the organizing members of the EEA 21 and a producer of the art exhibition, asked Ms. Li how they could exchange with NGOs in Shanghai. Ms. Li proposed a joint Candle Night in Shanghai, which could stand for mutual understanding between the citizens of China and Japan, led by private sectors, not the government.

Along with the exhibition, a candle making workshop was held. The workshop had around 60 participants including 15 adults. Mr. Yokozawa showed how to make candles using waste cooking oil. "At the workshop," Ms. Li said, "we learned how to make waste cooking oil candles. It was good preparation for the Candle Night event in June." While they were making candles with waste cooking oil, the differences between Shanghai and Japan came up. "In Shanghai, it is difficult to collect waste cooking oil, compared to Japan. People tend to think that Chinese cooking uses a lot of cooking oil. However, oil is mainly used for stir frying, not deep frying. We used expired cooking oil instead." The workshop was broadcast by the media. It was also included in the Oriental Morning Post and the Shanghai Evening Post.

By spreading information of the Candle Night event world-wide, it will be interesting to know how each country will respond. Ms. Li has something in mind to expand the Candle Night events in Shanghai. "I would like the NGO's in China to learn the way the Candle Night campaign evolves in Japan, where it is supported by various sectors together with mass media. In Shanghai, there are environmental campaigns, for example setting the air conditioner to 28 degrees Celsius in the summer. However, all of them are government-led campaigns. We want to learn how the Candle Night event can be successful by involving the citizens in the campaign."

How will candlelight be spread in Shanghai? We are all looking forward to finding out.

Related articles are found at the GLI website

Yuko Kishikami
Candle Night Committee

November 30, 2005