La Fête des Lumières in Lyon
It is known for its lights, which brighten up the town for four nights. It even brings in a touch of magic, reconnecting the population to remind the time of 1852. It was a time of social troubles, floods and urban change. They chose to build a statue of Virgin Mary on Fouvière Hill.
The beginning of this tradition was scheduled for September 8th, the date of the Aldermen procession; with the flooding, the delivery of the statue was delayed. The weather improved in December. The people of the town spontaneously placed candles on their windowsills and on their balconies, it was a symbol of spirit and being united. For over decades the tradition became popular and the citizens are very dedicated and fond of
In the 1960’s the town set up windowsill competitions, particularly for the food shops. The competitions signified the beginning of the Christmas season and the religious celebrations. In 1989, Lyon developed the very first Plan lumière, to improve the quality of the lights in the city, particularly the highlights of the city. It was the very first European city to launch this project.
The lights started to have more meaning for the city, to attract more the squares, streets, bridges, and riverbanks and rivers themselves. Lyon then became the city known today. It’s known for its’ beauty and its heritage. It brings out a special atmosphere during nightfall.
The lights signify their heritage and the new identity for the city. They take the visitors on a journey filled with magic and dreams. It is now a part of Lyon’s identity, which has grown and spreads across the world.
For our October half term club we are looking at light festivals in different countries around the world: Spain, France, Japan, England, Thailand, Germany, and Holland. Edufun has planned two days full of activities and games available for the children around Cheltenham and Gloucester.
By Lula Chapman Hureau