The winter “Fête des Lumières” in Lyon is one of the city’s most exciting extravaganzas. Festival of Lights in Lyon brightens up December’s streets with dazzling displays and creates a huge buzz right across Lyon’s delightfully different districts. It’s a long weekend of pure magic – and all of it is free. For four nights a variety of different artists light up buildings, streets, squares and parks all over the city. Over 50 light installations create a magical atmosphere. Millions of visitors both French and from abroad enjoy the friendly and joyful spirit of this unique event.
Lyon’s light celebrations began as a religious tradition in 1852, when citizens lit candles in their windows to mark the inauguration of a Virgin Mary statue at the city’s hilltop Basilica. Now the light show has extraordinary hi-tech dazzle. Its designers come from very different creative backgrounds – all experts in using technology to create innovative city and nightclub lighting, video backdrops and magnificent multimedia shows.
Each of the four nights of the Fête des Lumières features a different theme, changing colour schemes and an extraordinary atmosphere. Designers from all over the world compete to produce the most startling installations and displays, and the vibrant light shows everywhere around the city are highlighted by video, music and sound effects. This exceptional festival incorporates Lyon’s historic and contemporary architecture into an astonishing sight. Its lovely riversides and parks also take centre stage. The Rhône riverside is being gradually transformed into thirty miles of waterfront attractions, with an open-air dining area, a promenade, viewing points, artworks and nature trails. It’s a spectacular backdrop for the illuminations.