City of Lights: Lyon

One of the country’s biggest cultural events, the ‘Festival of Lights’ (6th – 9th December 2012) draws a crowd of over four million visitors every year, joining locals to marvel at the spectacular light dances, acrobatics and unique illumination innovations for four vibrant December days each year.

An integral part of the cultural calendar since 1852, the Festival of Lights is a relatively recent tribute to the Virgin Mary, part of a long-term promise made when an outbreak of plague in the city ended in 1643.  Municipal councillors had agreed to pay tribute to Mary if the town was spared.

In 1852, a statue of the Virgin Mary was erected next to the Basilica to honour this tradition.. At this time, residents of Lyon commemorate the occasion with candles in their windows, along with other celebrations and it became known as the Festival of Lights. These traditional stout, fluted candles can be found in shops at the end of November – over eight million are sold every year!

The origins of this celebration have not been forgotten and over the years, the Festival of Lights has blossomed into a huge event featuring the very best in lighting technology.  Light in the city is an essential component, helping to accentuate the architectural magnificence of the buildings and urban landscape.

Over 80 cutting-edge lighting installations are scattered around the city, bringing the buildings to life as if dancing to pulsating music, creating a magical and memorising effect for the festival visitors.

CRT Rhone-Alpes is a client of Magellan PR.  For more information, please visit, follow them on twitter @traveltrade_RA or on Facebook/RhoneAlpesTourisme.

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

About magellanstraits

Magellan Straits showcases the observations & musings from Magellan PR, a boutique travel & lifestyle agency founded in 1998. We post items that are of interest from the clients we promote and from the travels and experiences that we independently undertake.
This entry was posted in Activities, Art and Culture, Europe, Rhône-Alpes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to City of Lights: Lyon

  1. Greetings from Australia,
    I lived in Lyon for six months and they would have to rate as some of the most beautiful in my life. I absolutely love France, and really enjoyed looking at your beautiful photographs which brought back fond memories.

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