Lyon Festival of Lights

From December 04, 2014 to December 07, 2014
Lyon Festival of Lights Lyon fr

The Festival of Lights in Lyon (“Fêtes des Lumières” in French) is one of the most awaited public event in the Rhône-Alpes region.  With over 4 million tourists coming to Lyon for this event,  the festival is probably one of the three biggest festive gatherings in the world in terms of attendance (after the Rio Carnival and Oktoberfest in Munich). For locals and tourists alike, this celebration of light reveals the architectural treasures of the city in an unexpected way, through the illuminating of monuments, streets, hills and river banks.

The origins of the festival date to 1643. Lyon was struck by plague, and the municipal councillors promised to pay tribute to Mary if the town was spared from this disaster. The disease eventually stopped, and ever since, a solemn procession makes its way to the Basilica of Fourvière on this day to light candles and give offerings in the name of Mary. The event thus commemorates the day Lyon was consecrated to the Virgin MaryNowadays, the tradition remains and every family shall keep a collection of glass in which candles are burnt on windowsills on 8 December. You can find those candles in shops at the end of November.

While wandering in the streets of the city, you’ll be able to see the professional performances organized by the city council. The two main focal points of activity are typically the Basilica of Fourvière which is lit up in different colours, and the Place des Terreaux, which hosts a different light show each year.

The Festival is spread over 4 days of pure magic. It is innovative, intriguing and best of all : free of charge.

The programme promises four nights of enchantment, each night bringing a different theme, color scheme and vibe.

If you are still not convinced, what better to do then to experience the mayhem yourself, Lyon awaits your visit:


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