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17 July 2017

The Empire State Building will light up ’emoji yellow’ for World Emoji Day

The Empire State Building rises above the rest of the city.
The Empire State Building rises above the rest of the city.

Image: john moore/Getty Images

It’s World Emoji Day, and people are celebrating the cartoon smileys and symbols used in instant messaging apps in festivities all across the world. 

But the New York’s Empire State Building is really outdoing all other celebrations with its own colorful lighting change Monday evening. 

The iconic Manhattan building is marking World Emoji Day by sending the glow of “emoji yellow” across the city — and we have to say based on the sneak peak that it looks pretty awesome.

The building’s computer-controlled LED light system that was installed in 2012 will power the celebration. If you think it sounds a little extreme, you should know that the city frequently uses the building’s state-of-the-art lighting system to mark special occasions and celebrations.

In the past, the building has lit up red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July, pink and purple for International Women’s Day, and even displayed images of animals to bring attention to animal endangerment.  

The lighting display will compliment other activities from companies and organizations who are also marking the occasion in their own way. London’s Royal Opera House, for example, will present 20 operas and ballets in emoji form online.

Apple has also revealed final versions of its new emoji that will be introduced in the next version of iOS 11, expected to be released this fall. The new emoji include people of color, LGBTQ couples, and a breastfeeding mom.

So, even though it’s a little weird that a building as famous as the Empire State Building is lighting up for something as unusual as World Emoji Day, it actually shows unity with a lot of great causes and organizations across the world. Emoji can depict more people and passions than ever before, and that’s something to be excited about. 

And what better way to connect the city that never sleeps than with a huge visual display? So if you’re in New York City on Monday night, don’t forget to look up at the beacon of “emoji yellow” emanating from Midtown. And if you’re elsewhere, check out social media for pictures of the big light show. 

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