There’s just something about colorful, bright lights that fascinates people all around the world. They bring joy and make us feel content and in awe. It seems as if cities around the globe recognize this and have created incredible light festivals that have come popular traditions and attractions. Here are some of the best.
Fête des Lumières, Lyon – France
This festival, which translates to “festival of lights” in English, is held every year in Lyon. The city is known for its beauty, food, and culture, but this festival has made it an even more popular destination. The tradition dates all the way back to 1643 when the people in Lyon would light their candles to thank the mother of God for sparing them from the plague, and has continued since then. Of course, it has evolved and now involves incredible light displays.
Vivid, Sydney – Australia
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and in May and June, during the Vivid Light festival, it becomes even more impressive. The festival lasts for a whole 23 days and brings thousands of visitors to the city. Everything in the city lights up throughout this month each year, and it’s spectacular.
Pingxi Lantern Festival, Taipei – Taiwan
In China, lanterns form a huge part of many traditions, especially the Chinese New Year. At the end of the new year each year, thousands of people head to Pingxi to participate in their lantern festival. For three hours, people let these beautiful lanterns float up in the air to light up the night sky. The lanterns are colored and shaped to represent the zodiac celebrated that year.
Each light festival has its own beauty and significance and, due to the different parts of the world, represent very different cultures. So, which will you add to your bucket list this year?
35 Celebrities Who Used Their Fame to Break the Mold
At times, we get utterly surprised by how celebrities can exploit their name and fame to make a positive impact on society. Despite our cynicism, from publicized giveaways to silent philanthropy, many of them have simply made people’s lives better. After going through the rising rundown of charitable and generous celebrities, we came up with a list of the most inspiring stars whose altruism has made the world a better place.
Giving a surprise visit to a 13-year-old cancer struggling fan or even performing in the Christmas party of a 96-year-old fan is nothing short of unexpected from Taylor Swift. Yes, she’s that sweet. However, aside from being kind and frequently donating in various charities, Taylor set a very important example for her fans.
She wasn’t afraid to reveal the truth about what happened between her and DJ David Moller and file charges against him. Taylor clarifies that no one should be defamed by someone else’s bad deeds, and everyone should raise their voice against physical assault and likewise.
The charitable superstar Brad Pitt launched The Make It Right Foundation in 2007, initially donating $5 million to build homes for the families affected by Hurricane Katrina. He has been working with the Global Green, a nonprofit organization that is on a mission to make green housing a broadly accessible housing option.
To elevate awareness for the Make Poverty History campaign, he traveled to Africa. He has also been a part of the charity works to help the victims of 9/11.
Whenever it comes to the talk of a humanitarian do-gooder, Angelina Jolie has always been in the top list. Her benevolent endeavors are so many in number that some like to cite her as Saint Angie. AJ utterly dedicated her fame and money for the good of humanity.
She has been occupied with many philanthropic works like adopting children from poor countries to becoming a voice for refugees. She also co-founded the Jolie-Pitt Foundation with her former husband, which basically works for reducing rural poverty, securing natural resources, and so on.
During the ALS ice bucket philanthropic challenge, Matt Damon chose to dump toilet bowl water over his head to make a statement about the scarcity of clean water. He co-founded the nonprofit organizations water.org and ensured clean water and sanitation to millions of people all over the world.
Matt Damon stands along with the One Campaign, which is working to eradicate poverty and AIDS from third world countries. He is the perfect example of what celebrities can do to make people’s lives better using their name and fame.
Our all-time favorite Hermione Granger actress was chosen to be the UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2014. During the HeForShe campaign, she was staged for a speech, where she spoke in favor of feminism by relating it to the gender inequality issue with human rights.
Her speech left everyone tongue-tied. Also, while receiving an award for Beauty and The Beast, Emma added that her character Belle was meant to break the mold. Hence, she felt very connected to the character.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Professional wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, founded the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation in 2006. This charity organization works to help empower and improve the self-esteem of children with disorders, illnesses, and disabilities.
He also sits on the board of directors of The Beacon Experience, an organization whose mission is to encourage children to continue studying after high-school years. He also supports and consistently works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.
Our favorite Gwyneth Paltrow, unfortunately, lost her beloved father to cancer in 2002. This heart-wrenching event motivated her to learn more about her father’s disease. Henceforward, she decided to dedicate her popularity to luxuriant cancer research.
She co-produced two televised special charity events with Joel Galen to raise money for the Stand Up to Cancer program, which is a charitable movement whose goal is to raise money that will be invested in cancer research. She has also worked for DonorsChoose, an organization that supports public schools in the US.
LeBron James, a player for the Los Angeles Lakers and one of the greatest NBA players of all time, has been involved with multiple charity works and has donated millions of dollars for the welfare of people.
LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) has offered a full ride to college to more than 1,110 students, which may cost more than $41 million. This generous NBA superstar has donated $2.5 million to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America from the revenue of his ESPN show The Decision.
TV show host and social activist Jimmy Kimmel has always been outspoken about various important issues and the importance of donating in his talk show. His son was born with a congenital heart condition, and after his son’s heart surgery, he found out the dark side of healthcare.
So, he dedicated himself to make healthcare better and made donations to children’s hospitals. He launched his book The Serious Goose, of which the proceeds go to the children’s hospitals across LA.
All of us fans know how much Ellen helps out her talk show viewers as well as people in need. Apart from the publicized giveaways, she has been one of the greatest philanthropists in recent times. She supports numerous organizations and urges her viewers to donate to them.
Her Oscar selfie raised over $3 million, and she donated all of it to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and The Humane Society. She is amongst the first few celebrities who spoke out about LGBTQ rights. With her altruism and generosity, she has changed millions of people’s lives.
Chance the Rapper
The three-time Grammy winner, Chance the Rapper, is one of the most influential people on the planet. His charity SocialWorks has raised $8 million, including $2 million donated by him. He is working with a focus to ensure quality education in public schools.
20 schools will receive $100,000 each from his organization over the next three years. He has always been outspoken about various important issues and the importance of donating to make people’s lives better.
Portia de Rossi
The magnanimous actress Portia de Rossi regularly works with and donates to various charities like Locks of Love, an organization that donates wigs free of cost to children with alopecia and other medical conditions which cause hair fall.
In 2018, she surprised her wife Ellen Degeneres on her birthday with the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund, and it focuses on the conservation of endangered wildlife. The actress has been in Rwanda to start the development of the Ellen DeGeneres Campus, which will help imperil gorillas.
Johnny Depp has proven to be one of the most generous celebrities when it comes to his admirers. He has consistently worked with different charity organizations to change the world. In March 2007, his daughter had kidney failure from an E. Coli infection.
Afterward, she had treatment in the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, which provides treatment to children with rare and critical diseases. Later, he donated $2 million to this hospital.
Acclaimed actress and producer Charlize Theron is not only recognized for her contribution to the American film industry but also for her countless philanthropic works.
She founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project in 2007, which aims to make African youth aware of HIV and keep them safe from it. In 2009, she was appointed as the UN’s peace envoy for HIV prevention and for the abolition of violence against women.
Morgan Freeman is one of the most respectable American actors and has always worked for people’s welfare. He sits on the board of directors for Earth Biofuels, an organization whose crucial aim is to promote the utilization of clean burning-fuels in the US.
He made a cookbook with other celebrities, Morgan Freeman and Friends: Caribbean Cooking for a Cause and its revenues went to the Grenada Relief Fund, a fund established by him to help small islands in the Caribbean after Hurricanes Ivan and Emily struck in 2004.
Environmental pollution has always bothered the divine American actress Jessica Alba. She was looking for ways to diminish the unrestrained pollution. This led her to launch an eco-friendly baby product line, The Honest Company in 2017.
Her innovative approach and thoughtful designs made the products affordable while being safe for both babies and Mother Nature. Besides that, she also backed numerous charity initiatives from time to time, including V-Day, US Doctors for Africa, and Feeding America.
Along with Ellen DeGeneres, Ben Affleck has launched the Small Change Campaign intending to provide food and grocery items nationwide, advocate for public policies, and grow awareness about domestic hunger.
He is a strong backer of A-T and stem-cell research to ensure children with neurological disease ataxia-telangiectasia live longer and launched a fundraiser for the A-T Children’s project. He closely works with various organizations like Paralyzed Veterans of America, Feeding America, and the Sundance Institute.
Pop queen Lady Gaga is one of the most kind-hearted top-ranked celebs of all time. Funding to projects and charities was never like alms to her; instead, she engages herself in several charity events with a sense of responsibility. In addition to these, she also co-founded Born This Way Foundation with her mother, which is dedicated to the welfare of the youth.
It addresses the issues that young people are coming across lately, such as lack of self-confidence, depression, anxiety, bullying, etc. The motto of her foundation says that they are willing to build a braver and kinder world.
Wrestler turned actor John Cena has donated $500,000 to the first responders of the California Wildfire out of utmost respect. He has always been a strong advocate for the betterment of veterans and announced a fundraiser for veterans in which he will match every dollar donated up to $1 million, with a goal to raise $2 million.
He has granted over 600 wishes for the Make-A-Wish foundation, the highest of any celebrities who have worked with this organization.
Pop diva Britney Spears also loves little kids, just like Chris Martin. Once she reached a children’s dance studio without any prior notice! Making everyone dumbstruck surprised, she started teaching the little ones some of her signature dance moves.
Later, she posted the videotapes of her choreography of that studio on her Instagram account and captioned that she loves kids, and teaching them dance steps fills her heart with joy. Apart from that, she has also reportedly donated over $500 thousand to Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Actor Mark Ruffalo is totally invested in philanthropic works; many refer to him as an ideal environmentalist as well. His keen support for green campaigns like The Solutions Project strives to shift towards using 100% renewable energy.
He’s also a fractivist and took the water defense initiative whose goal is to keep our waterways secure from industrial degradation. For the organization of his steadfast works, Ruffalo received The Humanitarian Award 2014.
To make the dream of a better world come true, the actress and author Julianne Moore has been using her fame to the fullest. All her life, she has worked to reduce pollution as well as the horrors of weapon violence. She is an active member of Moms Clean Air Force, whose motto is to prevent air pollution so as to ensure clean air for the next generation to breathe.
She’s also a part of the Children’s Health Fund as well as the Everytown for Gun Safety movement, which aims to stop gun violence across the US.
Chart-topping music artist Elton John founded a nonprofit organization for HIV/AIDS patients in 1993. Since the inception, his organization The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) has been working hard to bring a better life for all the HIV/AIDS affected populations.
They are doing everything from raising awareness to ensuring effective testing, diagnosis, and treatment. At the same time, they are also working tirelessly to alleviate the discrimination that people with the aforementioned disease have to face in their day-to-day lives.
Beyoncé is a true philanthropist who involves herself in almost all sorts of humanitarian works. One worth mentioning is the initiative to launch a movement named #BeyGOOD to support the homeless, poor, ill, and unemployed.
In recognition of her humanitarian work, Beyoncé received a BET Award from another bold lady, Michelle Obama. The former first lady also made a brief speech praising her humanitarian work and urged her to continue these works.
The Oscar-winning actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, has been working to save the Earth and its inhabitants for a long time. He started the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998 to protect nature and for the long-term well-being of all of Earth’s residents.
His foundation has donated more than $100 million around the globe and funded more than 200 projects that can eradicate climate change and threats to life on Earth. He was named UN Messenger of Peace by the UN Nations with a focus on spreading awareness about climate change.
The gorgeous Jennifer Lopez is a real soul who genuinely wants to turn this world into a better place. Up till now, she has contributed to Amnesty International, Children’s Health Fund, ALAS, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles Free Clinic, DKMS Love Our Children USA, MusiCares, and many more.
Women’s And Children’s Health is one of her dream foundations, which she co-founded with her younger sister to ensure quality healthcare as well as proper health education for the underserved mothers. She also donated $1 million for backing relief efforts of Puerto Rico following two devastating hurricanes.
Chris Martin, the lead-vocal and the co-founder of the famous band Coldplay, has a very soft heart for children. He never misses going to the hospital to see the little patients during every tour of his band. He finds it very heartwarming to spend time with the young souls.
He also never misses the chance to give gifts to them and cheering them by singing his songs. Although he is not bothered to announce all the visits he makes to the hospital, his visits are made public by his fan’s pictures online.
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris is another name of love. He has undeniably added more laughter to our lives with his hilarious comedy roles. That’s not all! He also possesses a long history of humanitarian works. He is fully indulged in charitable works and uses his popularity and fame successfully for the welfare of humanity.
Up to now, he has backed several social causes by supporting multiple nonprofit foundations and movements, including AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Los Angeles LGBT Center, American Cancer Society, Feeding America, and so on.
Now, we’ll introduce you to the music star who already received an Award for her committed charity works. Yes, you guessed it right; we are talking about Christina Aguilera. In 2013, she received the first-ever Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for her significant involvement in Yum! Brands’ hunger relief campaign.
Christina has partaken the role of global spokesperson in Yum! Brands’ in 2009. Since then, they raised around $80 million for the World Food Program (WFP) and similar hunger relief organizations.
Did you know that the Irish singer Bono has been nominated for the supreme Nobel Peace Prize thrice? Yes, this self-made pop star has been involved in several philanthropic works, which lead to such an accomplishment.
He’s considered to be one of the most influential personages who has rightly leveraged his fame and popularity for the betterment of humanity. To date, he has contributed to advocacy for basic human rights, AIDS awareness and research, and more.
Artist Shailene Woodley, at an early age, made up her mind about how she would never waste anything. For one, Shailene had to cut her hair for the role of Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars; she did not throw her hair in the trash.
Instead, she donated it to children with hair loss. This incident spells out how thoughtful and kind-hearted she is! Among her many good works, one mentionable endeavor is that she and her mother have formed All It Takes, a foundation that focuses on youth leadership. She also physically stood by Native Americans during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
Jimmy Donaldson, known as Mr. Beast, is one of the fastest-growing YouTubers and has become viral through his philanthropist work of donating millions of dollars to charities and deprived people. Recently he donated food and essentials worth over $1 million to food banks and charities all over the US.
Mr. Beast started the Team Trees campaign in October 2019 with the hope of raising $20 million to plant 20 million trees, and he managed to raise the money before 2020. He surely made a huge difference in the world.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has launched electric cars and trucks to reduce the emission of carbon fuel in the atmosphere. He launched the Musk Foundation with the sole purpose of improving education and research across the globe, and he donated over $257 million to the foundation.
He is an altruist whose donations support several causes, such as disaster relief, clean water, healthcare, social relief, and innovation of all kinds.
The former talk show host and billionaire Oprah Winfrey has used her name and connections to donate millions of dollars to different charities and organizations to make people’s lives better. She initially formed the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation in 2007 to help young women in South Africa rise, and later, extended her hand all over the world.
In 2007 alone, she spent $50 million for women and children’s education and health care. There is no doubt that the media mogul is one of the greatest philanthropists in recent times.
Alzheimer’s has no treatment and is one of the six leading causes of death in the US. Microsoft co-founder and once the richest man on Earth has a target to find a cure for the disease.
He and his wife launched the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to focus on global poverty, education, and health. Donating over $36 billion to charitable causes, he was named the most generous philanthropist in the United States.
Chadwick’s Kind Gesture to Sienna
While Chadwick Boseman is sadly no longer with us, his incredible legacy lives on in many ways. Most recently, Sienna Miller spoke online about how her 21 Bridges co-star reduced his own salary on the project in order to get her on board and raise her own salary in the process.
“Chadwick ended up donating some of his salary to get me to the number that I had asked for. He said that that was what I deserved to be paid,” Miller recalled.