Lyon Festival of Lights

December 5, 2019

This winter, why not leave the busy shops behind, hop on a ferry to France and head to Lyon to see the city illuminated in its annual Fête des Lumières? During the first weekend of December, the streets of Lyon come to life with sparkling displays and light installations, creating a buzz across the city.

Creative City

Lyon is a creative hub in France and attracts lots of artists, designers and writers. It’s no wonder then that the annual festival of light brings light designers from across the globe together to create something truly enchanting. See their visions come to life through emotive, poetic and magical light installations which will leave you filled with wonder.

A Strong Heritage

Lyon’s festival of light started as a religious tradition in 1852, when townspeople would light candles in their homes to mark the positioning of a Virgin Mary statue at the city’s hilltop Basilica. While there are still various religious aspects to the festival – it is held at the start of advent and creative light installations are projected onto Saint-Jean Cathedral – the festival is now much broader and includes light shows from a range of different designers from various backgrounds.

Sensational Sights

Different colour schemes, technology and multimedia result in breath-taking light shows across the weekend, bringing the city to life in a unique way. Video, music and sound effects enhance the sensory impact further and transform Lyon’s historic and modern architecture into a stunning sight. Installations take place across the city including by its riversides and parks, making it a delight to explore.

Fun For All

Whilst the festival gets busier on the Friday and Saturday of the long weekend, each evening the streets fill with a carnival, family friendly atmosphere, with everyone marvelling at the mind-blowing light spectacles. It’s a great place to explore with friends, family or as a solo traveller, letting yourself be immersed in the splendour of the illuminated city. Get involved yourself on the slopes of Croix-Rousse hill where the installations are often more participative and intimate.

A Festival With Heart

The Fête des Lumières celebrates generosity and each year a different charity is selected to take part in the Lumignons du Cœur campaign. Individuals can buy a lumignon (small lantern) and make their contribution to the huge lit fresco on the site of the ancient Odeon of Fourvière on the 8th of December. It’s moving to see an ancient site be brought to life through the glow of the lanterns and all of the money raised is donated to the chosen charity for that year.

World Class Art – For Free!

You can stroll the city, taking in the electric atmosphere and seeing world-class art for absolutely free. The event runs from Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 December 2019 across the city of Lyon. On Thursday and Sunday the event begins at 7pm and on Friday and Saturday it begins at 8pm.

For a stunning way to see a city brought to life, a visit to Lyon’s Fête des Lumières is a must!

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