Lyon: the Theatre for Lights

From 8th to 11th December 2011, Lyon will celebrate the 13th edition of its illuminations festival: a truly spectacular event for locals and the 3 million French and foreign visitors alike.

The traditional lighting up of the city dates back to 8th December 1852 when Lyon’s inhabitants decided to illuminate their windows and railings with candles. They came down in to the street to celebrate the installation of the Virgin Mary’s statue on the Fourvière hill for the festive season.

Today, it has become a real urban and popular event with over 70 spots lit up across the city; more than 15,000 people at the Bellecour place for the switching on of the illuminations (7th December); and 200,000 visitors in the La Tête d’Or Park during the four evenings.

Monuments, rivers and the surrounding countryside are the perfect setting and everyone has the opportunity to showcase their talents: lighting-technicians, designers, architects, video directors, artists and even young students.

During the festival’s 160 years the technical evolution of the “light art” has changed dramatically, and new trends are appearing yearly.
Just like bonfire night in the UK, this is a must-do in anyone’s calendar and a magical celebration that no-one would miss.

For further information, please visit the Fete des Lumières website.

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