My thoughts on my first ever Fête des Lumières in Lyon

Published: 2018/11/29

Enjoy the Wednesday ‘dress rehearsal’ at the Lyon Festival of Lights

I had just been in Lyon for a little over a month last year when the Fête des Lumières came around, I was staying right by the Opéra in an airbnb while I was looking for accommodation, so right in the thick of it. 

My favorite thing about this time was watching everything come up in the days preceding the actual festival.

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“Extremely crowded”

On the Wednesday night it was like a dress rehearsal, you could walk around the city in peace and see the installations. I plan on doing that again this year, although you do miss the projections as well as any music that may accompany each installation. 

Crowd attending light show at place des Terreaux. Lyon Festival of Lights 2017. © Muriel Chaulet

For the main event my friends who lived in the Alps came in for the night on that first Thursday, it was extremely cold and wet that evening.

We started early and came up to the Croix-Rousse and then back down, following the path down past the Mairie and then across to Vieux Lyon. By 8:30 it was extremely crowded so we headed back home after getting a pint at the Elephant & Castle pub. 

“Enjoy the mulled wine”

In general I found it overwhelming, but truly an incredible feat of organization and artistry. We also enjoyed some nice mulled wine, which as it turns out is an ancient Roman tradition, fitting for the city of Lyon! 

This year I will again enjoy the Wednesday ‘dress rehearsal’ and then plan on staying in the Croix-Rousse during the festival to hold my wine tastings and offer the guests flooding the city a chance to learn about Lyon’s famous wine regions in the peace and warmth of my canut apartment. 

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