Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fête des Lumières

Every year on December 8th, the city of Lyon becomes a sparkling jewel as houses, businesses and apartment buildings are lit by millions of small votive candles on all their windowsills. The Fête des Lumières originated as a celebration of Mary, Jesus's mother. But over time, it has become for many a simple celebration of light and its beauty.

It's a fun way to really get into the Christmas spirit, with lights, candles, hot chestnuts and hot, spiced wine to drink in Lyon as well as in many of the little towns and villages surrounding the city. This year the celebration starts on December 8th and continues through the weekend. 

There is no way to describe in words Lyon's fairy-like quality during the festival, so I wanted to share it with a photo-tour.
...and Fourviere during the festival

Many of the little squares (les places) and churches become canvases for light displays. Some tell stories and others are more abstract. All the shows run idependently from one another throughout the festival. Each light show runs on a continuous loop, with a soundtrack. Some even include narration. Festival-goers are able to then vote online for the 'Best of Festival' award.

Lyon Opera House, before its show.

Walking along the streets on la presqu'île (presque= almost, île= island, so presqu'ile means 'almost-island', or, peninsula) there are lights of all kinds hung from almost anything, like this: 
 Have a light-filled holiday season!

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