Festival of Lights in Lyon
Festival of Lights in Lyon: between tradition and modernity
History tells us that in 1643, Lyon made a vow to build a statue of the Virgin Mary if she spared the city from the scourge of the plague.
A vow was made... and the promise kept. Centuries later, the city commemorates it with 4 days of illuminated parties at night, with a strong root in the religious and secular traditions of the former capital of the Gauls.
Poetic, magical, dreamlike ... this is how you could describe the city around 8th December.
Lyon has been celebrating the feast of the Immaculate conception on the 8th December at night fall since 1852. According to custom, the first Lyonnais used to decorate their windows with multicoloured glasses embellished with a candle.
The traditions haven't changed since: at 7pm, the city comes alight in unison. Passers-by are amazed at front facades wich light up in spectacular and surreal ways. Head out with the family and experience the festive atmosphere.
4 nights of festivities
Suddenly, Lyon turns into an open-air theatre. If candles in the windows weren't enough of a spectacle, there are also light shows from artists from around the world.
The walls of the monuments become bright paintings and works of evanescent art. Like a painter in front of his canvas, the multimedia artists show off the architecture of Lyon monuments with laser technology. The sculptures dance and walls come alive: the shows tell a musical and truly flamboyant story.
There is a theme every day ...
There are dozens of "light" shows that are free to the public for 4 nights as you make your way through the streets of Lyon.
On the Place des Terreaux, the Bartholdi fountain comes alive, like a water ballet. The facade of St John's Cathedral combines with modern technology: 3D shows merge with centuries of history at the same time. Both of Lyon's rivers, the Rhône and the Saône, contribute in their own way: acting as giant mirrors, the monuments and bridges flicker to the rhythm of the waves.
The Fête des Lumières in Lyon, is a truly magical way to spend the evening, and to start the end of year holidays in the most beautiful way possible.