HELSINKI (AP) — Finland's capital is aglow with colorful lights and lasers piercing the black winter skies and lighting up downtown buildings as the Helsinki Lux Festival provides a much-needed burst of illumination during the darkest days of the year.

Light and sound installations in the center have drawn crowds to the Helsinki Cathedral, the Olympic Stadium and 11 other sites joined by lanterns hanging in trees along a path of light bordering the frozen Baltic Sea through parks and on city sidewalks.

The five-day festival of light ending Tuesday includes artists from Germany, France, Britain and Hong Kong as well as Finland.

The festival artistic director Markku Uimonen says the aim is that "people can actually come and see the light, not just live in the night."