La Fête des Lumières : The Festival of Lights

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This Festival is the event Lyon is the most known for, and you will understand why on the 6th of December !

Its origin goes back to the 8th of December 1852, the day when a statue of the Virgin Mary was erected, 3 months after the planned date. Lyon people were therefore very excited for this day, but it happened to be raining, so the ceremony was delayed again. In the afternoon, it stopped raining and a rainbow appeared : everyone spontaneously lit up their houses and proceedeed to do the ceremony, which results in the Festival of Lights we now know.

Magical is the word that people often use to describe this festival, while deambulating in the streets between huge illuminated objects and buildings, with moving light that creates a story, accompanied by sound and 3D effects.

This festival is a unique moment : you get to see (or discover !) Lyon under another angle, walking aimlessly in an enchanting atmosphere…

Photos from previous years

This year’s program : from the 6th of December to the 9th of December :

  • The Tunnel of the Croix – Rousse : You will wander in this 1.6 km long tunnel, where 2D and 3D images, as well as videos will be projected on the walls. Depending on where you will stand, what you will see will be different !
  • South of Lyon : This year’s theme is the elements, and mostly the fire and water : from performances with images of light projected on water to people playing with fire, you will not be feeling letdown !
  • City – center : Many different shows will be waiting for you : one is a work of sounds and lights, which retraces the history of Lyon, another one is the story of a Prince of Light, looking for a stolen treasure. A Village in the Sky will come to like above the docks, while the Fourvière Basilica and the old Courthouse will be illuminated by a light revealing details you might have never paid attention to.
  • North of Lyon : In this part of the city, China and Mexico are the ones in the spotlight. Lotus lakes, Chinese shadows shows, a historical reconsituted village and traditional lanterns will transport you to China. Then a parade in honour of Mexico, with more than 5 metres high puppets will march in the streets, will make you travel to another continent !
  • Districts : The Wall of the Lyonnais will be illuminated and animated for the first time, and at the Croix-Rousse, a gallery of sounds and lights will attract you and alter your senses, making you discover a new experience.

So if you’re near Lyon, I hope that you will go to the Festival and enjoy yourselves !

And don’t worry if you can’t go there, we will update this article with our own photos of this year’s Festival !

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