Fête des lumières à Lyon

by MPI Traveler on December 5, 2013

Lyon 1

Lyon’s Light Festival

One of the most famous events during the French Christmas season is the Light Festival in Lyons, but in fact it has no link to Christmas other than the close date, 8 December.

In 1850, Lyon’s religious leaders announced a contest for a statue that would be placed at the top of Fourvière hill. The unveiling ceremony for the winning sculptor’s work two years later was set for 8 September (anniversary of the virgin Mary’s birth), but when the Saône river overflowed and flooded the site, the date of the ceremony was changed to 8 December (date of the Immaculate Conception).

To celebrate the new statue, some Lyonnlyon 3ais citizens planned to illuminate their houses and apartments with candles, but bad weather on the day forced a second rescheduling, to 12 December. Nevertheless, the entire city spontaneously decided to light candles the 8th, and then went down into the streets to gaze at the city, lit from one end to the other. With the celebration of this widespread, friendly gesture, which also moved the religious authorities to illuminate Fourvière’s chapel, the Light Festival was born.

Since then, the people of Lyons have put candles or small lights in their windows and then gone into town to enjoy the illumination and have a good time with friends and fellow citizens.

With the Lighting Plans of 1989 and 2004, Lyons became a world-renowned reference in the domain of urban lighting, and the city shows off this expertise during the contemporary contemporary Light Festival.

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