Photo credit: Fête des Lumières Lyon/ Muriel Chaulet

The countdown to Lyon’s Fête des Lumières has begun and it’s set to be a right dazzler. A light show of truly epic proportions, the festival dates back to 1852, when flash floods and storms brought the unveiling of a statue of the Virgin Mary at the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière to a screeching halt. The deluge finally eased up on December 8, which locals celebrated by decking windowsills with candles and lanterns.

The tradition has been upheld ever since – with a pyrotechnical twist, that is. The candlelit vigil of old has morphed into a three-day citywide light and sound bonanza. Brace yourself for a kaleidoscope of twinkling lights, installations dancing across every last inch of the city centre’s façades, all to the soundtrack of festive tunes as Lyon shimmers in honour of the Virgin…

The festival will take place from Thursday, December 6 – Sunday, December 9. Artists will light up monuments, streets, squares and parks all over Lyon— expect a total of 40 different light installations including Saint-Jean Cathedral, Saint-Paul Station, Temple du Change, Place Rambaud, Place Sathonay, Gardens of the Fine Arts Museum, Place des Jacobins, Fourvière Hill, the Hotel Dieu and Célestins Theatre.

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From France Today magazine