Lyon is the second largest city in France and although Paris has somehow been considered by a few people as the "City of Lights" it is actually Lyon. The Festival of Lights takes place on the 8th of December in Lyon bringing together hundreds of families that light a candle lamp in their window showing gratitude towards the Virgin Mary.
The festivals origins go back to the 1800s where the city was about to inaugurate a statue of the Virgin Mary but because of a wild storm, the inauguration was postponed. When the storm passed by and the skies cleared, the people of Lyon spontaneously lit candles in their homes and went out to the streets to celebrate and give offerings in the name of Virgin Mary. This local and spontaneous festival that brought the citizens of Lyon together has now become a festival attracting hundreds of travellers to come and marvel the light show the city so proudly hosts.
The Festival of Lights lasts 4 days but its most important day is the 8th of December since it was the day the storm passed away and gave way to the Virgine Mary. Lights of different colors and designs are arranged in different parts of the city illuminating the citys most remarkable landmarks. The main light shows are found in the Basilica of Fourvière and the Place des Terreaux, but you will practically find each corner of the city lit with spectacular lights.
So pack your bag and plan a quick home exchange getaway to Lyon in December; were sure your trip will be a wonderful start to your Christmas season!