"Daily Show" host Trevor Noah may think it's amusing to picture Bill de Blasio changing the color of the Empire State Building lights with an app, as he quipped on Thursday night's show during an interview with the mayor, but we know the truth.
The iconic skyscraper's LED light system, installed in 2012, is controlled by the Empire State Realty Trust, the real estate investment trust that owns and manages the building.
And while the company illuminates one of New York's most famous tourist attractions in honor of the major religious and government holidays, it also accepts lighting requests. Organizations and individuals from around the world can apply for what Empire State Realty Trust calls "lighting partnerships."
The company declined to answer DNAinfo's request for comment on the financial aspect of these partnerships, which a spokesperson described as "confidential."
But its website does make it clear that the building won't light up for personal events such as birthdays or weddings, political campaigns or for religious figures or events other than Easter, Eid al-Fitr, Hanukah and Christmas.
Lately, it seems as if the light displays have gotten more complex than ever. Last May, the tower celebrated the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Benefit and spring exhibition with a lighting-pattern created by the eminent Chinese filmmaker Wong Kar Wai. This past October, it did an elaborate Halloween display and in February, the office building synced its lights to the Chinese New Year fireworks show exploding over the Hudson River.
Take our quiz above to see how well you can decode the meaning behind the skyscraper's lights.