The Festival of Lights in Lyon brings together several million visitors each year. But what is the origin of this magical party ?

A tradition from the Middle Ages

Scattered in the streets, the squares and on the quays of the Saône, 21 installations will illuminate the city, offering a magical spectacle to the millions of visitors present for the occasion. On December 8, the inhabitants of the hill of Fourvière celebrate the Virgin Mary. They light up each of their windows and on their balconies and stroll through the streets with small traditional candle lights. Indeed, Christians have been celebrating Mary on December 8 since at least the year 431. The tradition of celebrating her with lights has been present in France since the Middle Ages. This custom has returned since 1852. Every year, in Lyon, each inhabitant lights a candle on the sill of his window on the evening of December 8th. Over time, the religious tradition has become a secular celebration that gives the city a spotlight every year.

Monumental mappings

Since 1989, at the instigation of the city’s mayor, Michel Noir, the emblematic sites of Lyon have been dressed in lights and artistic installations have awakened the city. In all the districts of the city, artists create a world of lights, magical spaces on the walls of historic buildings, on the squares, on the banks of the Rhône… the visitor thus enters different and magical colored universes. 30 works, installations or monumental mappings illuminate the city. To top it off, it’s a free party, anyone can enjoy the show. The monuments of the city are in the spotlight, so you can stroll between several Lyon squares and admire the installations of the artists selected for this new edition of the Festival of Lights in Lyon.

Lyon Lights Festival,

From December 8 to 11, 2022, more information on the website :

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