News Release

Ambassador Illuminates Lights at Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center

On 1 December the Vietnamese ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Le Cong Phung, flipped the switch on approximately 500,000 lights on the temple grounds to celebrate the Christmas season at the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center.

Prior to the lighting ceremony, His Excellency addressed a private gathering, along with Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy, a governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other dignitaries participating in the 33rd annual Festival of Lights included Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Representative Howard P. “Buck” McKeon of California, and J. W. Marriott, Jr.  Several other Latter-day Saint Members of Congress were in attendance.

The lighting ceremony launched the monthlong Festival of Lights,which opens to the public 3 December 2010. Over 200,000 guests are expected to visit the temple grounds during this much-loved community tradition. In addition to the beautifully decorated temple grounds, there are nightly performances by local artists, and international nativity scenes and trees decorated with dolls donated from over 90 embassies are on display inside the visitors’ center.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information on the monthlong festival, please visit

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