Lyon: La Fête des Lumières

Every year, Lyon hosts La Fête des Lumières, an elaborate festival of lights with colorful and dramatic installations all over the city. I’ve shared some photos from my first Fête des Lumières in 2013, but it’s impossible to do justice to the gorgeous moving lights and cinema set to music.

December 8th is the official day of celebration, so the festival always includes the 8th and extends over four days including a weekend. The population of Lyon supposedly triples during the festival, and I believe it. Streets are blocked off, security guards herd pedestrians like cattle, restaurants are booked solid, and you have to queue just to get down into the metro. Accommodation prices are astronomical, even to rent a student loft on Airbnb.

But this year the Fête des Lumières was cancelled two short weeks before it was set to open. Continue reading “Lyon: La Fête des Lumières”

Lyon: Tips for La Fête des Lumières

Lyon’s annual Fête des Lumières is spectacular, but it has its downsides.

With such a huge influx of people, the city’s population triples for the weekend. Therefore, we can make a few conclusions: one, it will be difficult to find accommodations, two, prices will skyrocket because of the demand, and three, Lyon will be crowded.

So I have a few ideas to help you make the most of the Fête des Lumières and your time in Lyon.

Continue reading “Lyon: Tips for La Fête des Lumières”

Flashback to 2013: La Fête des Lumières

In a week and a half, the population of Lyon will triple for four days. Hotels have been sold out for months, and good luck getting into a restaurant in Vieux Lyon.

Why?

La Fête des Lumières!

Lyon has more than one claim to fame (the invention of cinema, the silk industry of Croix-Rousse, and Paul Bocuse, to name a few) but the Fête des Lumières is by far the most important annual event.

I didn’t know what to expect from the Fête des Lumières (which literally means “festival of lights” in case you were wondering). I kind of imagined lots of little tea lights in windows. That’s part of it; Lyon residents do sometimes put little candles in their windows. But it’s more like an artistic explosion of colorful moving light all over the Lyon that transforms the city into a magical alternate universe fueled on vin chaud for a span of four days.

Here’s a look at last year’s Fête des Lumières.

Continue reading “Flashback to 2013: La Fête des Lumières”