Why are cities lighting up blue?

Why are cities lighting up blue?

Cities around the world are suddenly lighting up in blue -- but why?

An eerie blue glow will come from the looming spires of Boston’s Zakim Bridge this evening — and many other cities will be following suit around the world.

It’s all part of the “Light It Up Blue” campaign for World Autism Awareness Day, and Zakim Bridge will be one of 11,000 landmarks around the world that will participate, according to an Autism Speaks statement.

The lights essentially serve as a symbol of the global autism community, bringing awareness to efforts of creating strategies to meet the needs of those with autism. Those needs are different country to country, which is why it is important to have a comprehensive approach involve nations around the world, Angela Geiger, president and CEO of Autism Speaks, said in the statement.

The 11,000 buildings that will feature blue lights are stretched across 147 countries, making this a massive event.

World Autism Awareness Day was adopted back in 2007 by the United Nations. The campaign started one day early this year on April 1 with the Empire State Building being lit in blue, but the most participation will be on Saturday night.

“As darkness falls on April 2, thousands of buildings will be lit,” the statement reads. “Participating landmarks include: One World Trade Center and Rockefeller Center in New York City; CN Tower in Canada, the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal in Egypt, Taipei 101 in Taiwan, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Shanghai Tower in China, Sydney Opera House in Australia, and the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.

“Autism Awareness marches will take place throughout Tanzania, and parents in Ghana are raising awareness by sharing their families’ stories in the media,” it continues. “Thousands of parents in Poland are coordinating awareness activities; organizations in Japan are lighting more than 260 buildings blue; and activities will take place throughout China. In New York City, the Department of Sanitation will for the second year display Light It Up Blue posters on 2,600 of its trucks and brooms.”

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