Lyon Festival of Lights – Fête des Lumières 2023
Light is an essential part of Lyon’s unique identity. Even a brief stroll through the city during nighttime will reveal how light has been organically fused into Lyon’s cityscape transforming it into a significant center of urban lighting and light design.
So, it comes as no surprise that Lyon annually hosts one of the most extravagant international events of the city, the Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières), creating one-of-a-kind settings, fascinating soundscapes and poetic dreamscapes.
Let’s Take a Trip Down Memory Lane…
The Festival of Lights was born on December 8, 1852, despite the social unrest, recurring floods and other radical changes that were happening. The citizens of Lyon put candles in colored glasses on their window sills in order to celebrate the inauguration of the Virgin Mary’s statue on the Fourvière Hill. As a result, whole neighborhoods of the city were lit up turning buildings into stages for light shows.
From then on, to honor this event, every year during the days approaching December 8 the residents of Lyon celebrate the lighting up of their city via temporary light installations expanding over 4 evenings.
Architects, graphic artists, designers, videographers, plastic artists, street-show companies metamorphosize the city into an exciting gallery of their temporary art pieces.
Just imagine how popular the festival is with around 3 million people attending it every year!
The 2023 Edition
Discover this year’s spectacular festival which will be even more inclusive and magical while focusing on the notions of recycling and sustainability, too. Everyone can equally join in the fun.
Immerse yourself in a fascinating multi-sensory experience. Visit the Tête d’Or Park that hosts 4 installations this year as well as the Lumignons du Coeur light display for charity. Or hop over to the Parc Blandan with family-friendly installations and opening hours totally suitable for young visitors. Also, special facilities will be available including an accessible route for people with reduced mobility.
Opening Times: Thursday to Saturday: 8 PM—midnight | Sunday: 6 PM—10 PM
Parc Blandan & Institut Lumière: 5:30 PM—9:30 PMImportant note: the park entrance closes 30 min before the end of each evening.
Lyon Festival of Lights: FAQs
What is the Lyon Festival of Lights?
The Lyon Festival of Lights, or "Fête des Lumières," is an annual event held in Lyon, France, that celebrates the Virgin Mary, to whom the city owes its protection according to local tradition. The festival transforms the city with stunning light installations, projections, and displays, attracting millions of visitors from around the world. Over four days, the festival creates a magical and ethereal atmosphere that covers landmarks, rivers, and public spaces.
When and where does the festival take place?
The Lyon Festival of Lights typically occurs over a four-day period in early December. The entire city of Lyon serves as the canvas for the festival. From the iconic Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière to the Place des Terreaux, numerous landmarks and neighborhoods throughout Lyon are illuminated with various light installations.
How can I get tickets?
Most of the installations and displays during the Lyon Festival of Lights are free to the public and do not require tickets. However, some special indoor installations or performances might have an admission fee and require advance booking. It's always good to check the official website for the most current ticketing information.
What should I expect to see at the festival?
Visitors can expect an array of light-based art forms, including sculptures, projections, interactive displays, and traditional candle arrangements. Each year, the festival hosts both local and international artists who bring their unique perspectives to the medium of light. Expect to see landmarks and public spaces transformed into breathtaking works of art, each telling its own story or conveying a particular theme.
Is the festival family-friendly?
Yes, the Lyon Festival of Lights is a family-friendly event. The installations are designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages. Additionally, the festival often includes interactive installations that are especially appealing to children. Some areas may get crowded, especially during peak hours, so it's a good idea to keep an eye on younger family members. For the most accurate and current information, be sure to check the official website or other trusted resources.